A woman has been charged with child endangerment, a state jail felony, for beating her 4-year-old daughter before throwing her into the path of an oncoming vehicle, police said.

The driver of the brown Suburban braked and did not strike the child.

Aurelia Gallardo, 24, could face up to 20 years if convicted. Bail was set at $25,000.

Lt. Dana Brockington with the Austin Police Department told The Associated Press early Friday he did not know whether Gallardo had an attorney.

When the incident happened Tuesday, Gallardo and her three children were waiting for a city bus.

A witness at the bus stop told police he saw Gallardo lift her daughter by the arm so forcefully that he thought the girl's arm "was going to dislocate out of the socket." The witness told police that Gallardo then violently threw the girl into the street and pulled her by her hair before throwing her into a parked vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit.

The witness said Gallardo told her daughter, "You are dead to me" and "You are a slut."

"It's pretty outrageous when a parent loses composure to that degree," said police Sgt. Brian Loyd of the child abuse investigation unit in a story for Friday's online edition of the Austin American-Statesman. "We see some bad stuff on our unit, but this is new for us."

Once Gallardo boarded the bus, according to the affidavit, the bus driver said the woman was "yelling every four-letter word known" at the 4-year-old and was telling the girl that "CPS would take her away and that no one would want her."

Police stopped the city bus and took Gallardo into custody, Loyd said.

Loyd said the three children are in the custody of Child Protective Services.