At least the Houston woman had a good reason to leave the 10-month-old in the car alone—she just had to get a piercing at a tattoo parlour in the middle of the night. And even that did not work out well.
It was around 2 a.m. on Wednesday when 20-year-old Stephanie Irene Santana decided she wanted to have a piercing done. So despite the fact she was drunk and wearing her slippers, she drove to a Houston tattoo parlour to get one. Not wanting to leave her 10-month-old daughter at home, she took the baby with her.
After she arrived at the parlour, Santana, who is seven months pregnant, seemed concerned about how quickly the piercing could be done. An employee of the establishment, who gave his name as Yogi, was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying, She asked me how long the piercing would take, and I said, 'Why would you ask me how long it would take because there is nobody in here.' And she said 'because I have a baby in the car.' That's when I asked her, 'Who's watching the baby?' She said, 'Nobody, the baby is asleep.'
The tattoo parlour refused to provide the piercing because she was drunk. After she left the tattoo parlour, the employee called police and followed her to her car.
When officers arrived, they found Santana passed out behind the wheel and the driver's door wide open. The Daily Mail reports the 10-month-old was also in the front seat and was not secured in a car seat or even restrained by a seat belt. The engine was running.
In the car, police found bottles of beer, both empty and full, and Xanax. Some of the beer was found in the baby's diaper bag. Santana, who is on probation for a 2011 theft conviction, was arrested and after being taken to a hospital, was booked into the Harris County Jail. She faces charges of driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15 years, child endangerment, and possession of a controlled substance. The Houston Press reports the first two offences are felonies while the drug charge is a misdemeanor.
Child Protection Services took the 10-month-old into care and she may be placed with another family member.