Drugs and alcohol do not mix, especially when it comes to parenting. Responsible parenting requires full awareness and a parent that is impaired is not able to function at full capacity. Endangering a child due to irresponsible behavior, including use of drugs and alcohol while with a child, is reprehensible.
Nineteen-year Catalina Clauser sat her five-week-old son on the roof of her car strapped into a car seat. She forgot the baby was there and drove away. Fortunately the car seat did its job and protected the baby when the car seat fell off the roof into an intersection as Clauseer drove away. The baby is safe and sound. However, Clauseer is now under arrest and facing charges for child abuse and aggravated DUI.
Phoenix police received 911 calls reporting a car seat in the middle of the road around 1:00 a.m. Saturday. Leilani Gerlach and another neighbor who live across the street from the intersection where the car seat was found realized a baby was in the car seat and contacted officials. "We were both rolling our eyes in astonishment that someone could forget their baby," Gerlach said. "The car seat was turned to the side so anyone passing by wouldn't be able to tell there was an actual baby inside. Thank God they stopped."
Members of the Phoenix fire department found the car seat with the infant securely strapped inside. The baby was immediately taken to a local hospital and is reportedly doing fine. The child has been placed in the custody of child protective services.
Spokesman for the Phoenix police department, Officer, “We believe that whatever she was under the influence of was the deciding factor in what did happen to this child and we are extremely happy that, for the baby, this turned out well and the baby is going to be ok. [She] had gotten into her car, set the baby seat on top of the car and forgot that the child was up there. It does not appear that immediately she realized what happened. I think that perhaps she got where she was going and realized that she did not have the baby in the car. There was damage to the car seat; it was scraped, but there was no damage to the child.”
Apparently, Clauser had been smoking marijuana with her boyfriend at a nearby park earlier that evening. She then purchased some beer at around 11 p.m. Clauser’s boyfriend had been arrested earlier in the evening when he drove to the store to get beer. The baby was in his vehicle at the time of his arrest. After the arrest, Clauser was upset and drove to a friend’s home, where she reported smoked more marijuana.
Clauser realized she did not have the baby with her when she arrived home. She then called her friends and asked them to trace the route she drove to see if they could find the missing infant. When her friends began their journey, they found the police officers who had found the missing baby. The two friends told the police that Clauser was the mother of the infant. Clauser arrived on the scene shortly after her friends. She was arrested and taken into custody at that time.
Parents must always be sure their children are safe. Fortunately for this baby, the car seat made sure it was safe, because the mother did not.