The Phoenix Police, Arizona US, has arrested and charged Catalina Clouser, 19, with child abuse and aggravated driving under the influence.
Catalina drove away from a store after buying beer, apparently forgetting that she had placed her 5-week-old baby on top of her car.
The baby, while on top of the car, was still strapped to his own baby car safety seat and his mother did not even notice when the seat fell off the top of the car as she drove off.
People nearby discovered and quickly rescued the baby at an intersection on the roadway. The babt was still strapped to his safety seat lying on its side.
The baby when found was unhurt.
“We believe that whatever she was under the influence of was the deciding factor in what did happen to this child and we’re extremely happy that for the baby this turned out well and the baby is going to be OK,” Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Depart said.
Police say Catalina, her boyfriend and their friends had had been smoking marijuana earlier in the evening at a nearby park, but the boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of aggravated DUI (Driving Under the Influence) when they went to a store – with the baby in the car – to get beer.
Upset that her boyfriend was arrested, police said, Clauser went to a friend’s home and smoked more marijuana.
Catilina left around midnight and apparently put the sleeping baby on the roof of the car and drove off, forgetting he was there, and continued driving after the baby fell off the car, Holmes said.
Leilani Gerlach, a homeowner who lives across from the intersection, notified police after she and another neighbor saw the baby in the car seat on the street.
“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.”
After police arrived, two people walked up and told them the baby was Clausen’s. As the officers talked to the two, who identified themselves as friends of Clausen and her boyfriend, the young mother drove up, police said.
“[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,” Holmes said. “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,” Holmes said.
The baby is now in custody of Child Protective Services.