Florida Mother Allegedly Leaves Kids in Car to Drink, Has Child Blow Into Breathalyzer Ignition to Start Car
Cops: Mom wouldn't let police question 4-year-old who blew into breathalyzer
A Florida mother was arrested on Sunday for leaving her two small children inside a running car while she want to a bar, police said.
Employees of Froggers Grill and Bar in Apopka, Florida, called cops when they noticed that April Renee King, 36, was drinking while her children were alone in the car, police said.
When they arrested her, cops said her speech was slurred, she smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet. Cops said she denied drinking and leaving her children unattended, but said she admitted to taking Prozac.
King, who cops said moved to Florida two months ago and whose Facebook page identifies her as a “stay-at-home parent,” has two prior DUI arrests, Sgt. Ed Chittenden of the Apopka Police Department tells PEOPLE. She had recently completed 54 days in rehab, according to Chittenden.
Chittenden said it’s against Florida law to leave children unattended in a vehicle for more than 15 minutes because the Florida heat can prove fatal. However, neither child was hurt, police said.
King’s attorney, assistant public defender Kathleen Shea, was unavailable for comment.
Child Blows on Ignition Breathalyzer to Start Car
King’s Ford Escape was equipped with a breathalyzer system, cops said. Her husband told police it was installed because she had recently been in rehab, according to an Orlando Sentinel report.
Chittenden said King turned off the car after being confronted by cops. When she tried to restart it, she blew into the breathalyzer twice but it didn’t turn on, Chittenden said. At that point, King’s four-year-old son jumped into the driver’s seat and started blowing on it, Chittenden said.
He said that King wouldn’t let cops question the child about whether he had ever done that before. “But somehow, that car is getting started and she is driving all around with it,” he said.
Chittenden said that the father of the children told cops, “She’s dealing with some demons.”
Jeremy Rosenberg, 29, a regular at Froggers, met King after midnight the day of her arrest. He tells PEOPLE that King said she was going through personal problems.
“It sounds like she’s going through a lot,” he said. “That doesn t give her the right to come to the bar with her kids in the car.”
King was charged with child neglect and taken to the Orange County Jail on $1,500 bond. As of Thursday morning, she remained in jail, police said.
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