NEW MILFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A woman was arrested and charged this week, after she allegedly left a child outside in a stroller while drunkenly walking into a restaurant in New Milford, N.J.
Officers were dispatched to the Richmond Ave. Stores, a strip mall at 1033 River Rd. in New Milford, around 8 p.m. Wednesday after reports that a child had been left unattended outside a Dairy Queen. A witness said the child had been unattended for about five minutes, police said.
The witness asked passersby if they knew where the child’s mother had gone, and was told she had walked into the Golden China Restaurant in the strip mall. When officers arrived, the witness said the child had been unattended earlier, but several people later came out of the restaurant and took the child inside.
The officers went into the restaurant, and found a woman and two teenage males inside, walking toward the door to leave the restaurant with a stroller. Officer Michael Lafrano and Lt. Kevin Kiene asked to talk to the woman pushing the stroller, and immediately smelled alcohol on her breath and noticed her speech was slurred.
The officers also saw the woman stumbling around and using the stroller and the building to prop herself up several times, police said.
The two males left right away when the officers approached the woman, police said.
Police said the woman denied leaving the child unattended, and admitted to drinking a whole bottle of Bacardi rum earlier in the evening. The woman became agitated, and the officers took her purse from the stroller – only to find that it had a sealed bottle of vodka inside, police said.
The stroller also had one empty 25-ounce beer can, and two empty 16-ounce beer cans, in a bag underneath, police said.
The woman – identified by police as Ashley Scola, 26, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was so drunk at the time that she could not be processed at the police station, police said.
Bail was later set at $50,000 by New Milford Municipal Court Judge Kevin Kelly, and Scola was taken to the Bergen county Jail where she will be held pending a court hearing next Wednesday.
One of the two teens who left was identified as Scola’s, 18-year-old boyfriend, the other a juvenile, police said. They have not been charged.
The child – a 1-year-old boy – was turned over to the custody of his grandmother, police said.
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