Shawndeeia Bowen, 29, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon when a motorist spotted her driving on the 405 Freeway. Police said Bowen was texting while she had a 1-year-old on her lap and two unsecured children in the backseat.
"It's probably the most egregious case that I've heard of," said Torrance Police Sgt. Jennifer Udeya.
Bowen still had the phone in her hand and the baby in her lap when police pulled her over.
The district attorney's office filed misdemeanor child endangerment charges against the mother. Udeya said because the children were not harmed, the D.A. went with the misdemeanor charge.
All the three children were taken into protective custody. Bowen's bail has been set at $75,000.
"To me, it said neglect. Because she should have made sure that all her kids were secured in the car, and it's very dangerous for her to be driving with her baby in her lap," said Sharice Pompey of Moreno Valley.
This wasn't Bowen's first problem with the law. According to court records, she is already on probation for a previous child endangerment conviction. She also has a long history of moving violations, with at least six arrest warrants pending.
Officials say this story should serve as a reminder that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.