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Oklahoma City woman arrested after huffing in a parking lot with 1-year-old daughter

12-Jul-2013

Earlier this week, an Oklahoma City woman was arrested on multiple complaints after a witness found her passed out in a parking lot with a 14-month-old child lying on the asphalt beside her. Ashley August O'Grady, 30, was arrested for child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment, and failure to provide for a child.

A witness called police Monday morning after seeing the woman and her child in the parking lot of the Altamonte Apartments on South May Avenue. He said he went to check on them and found the mother unresponsive. He then took the 14-month-old girl into an apartment, called police, and then returned to check on the woman. He said that she briefly came to, grabbed a nearby can of air duster, and sprayed it into her mouth, inhaling the fumes before passing out again.

Paramedics treated O'Grady at the scene and released her into police custody. Emergency medical personnel transported the child to a local hospital for evaluation because of the temperature.

A police search revealed drug paraphernalia and Pirate's Booty Potpourri, an herbal "incense" often smoked as an alternative to marijuana. O'Grady was booked into the Oklahoma County jail and held on $40,000 bond.

Child endangerment charges are often alcohol or drug related. A parent who is under the influence of an intoxicant, whether a legal substance used inappropriately or an illegal substance, is ill-equipped to care for a child. Impairment, particularly to the degree of passing out, renders a person unable to provide supervision or care. Fortunately for the baby girl in the incident described above, a witness was able to render assistance until law enforcement and emergency medical personnel arrived.

The Oklahoma Children and Juvenile Code defines abuse and neglect in 10A O.S. § 1-1-105:

2. "Abuse" means harm or threatened harm or failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety, or welfare, including but not limited to nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Provided, however, that nothing contained in this act shall prohibit any parent from using ordinary force as a means of discipline including, but not limited to, spanking, switching, or paddling.

a. "Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child" means any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental including but not limited to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, or dependency.

47. "Neglect" means:

a. the failure or omission to provide any of the following:

(1) adequate nurturance and affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education,

(2) medical, dental, or behavioral health care,

(3) supervision or appropriate caretakers, or

(4) special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child,

b. the failure or omission to protect a child from exposure to any of the following:

(1) the use, possession, sale, or manufacture of illegal drugs,

(2) illegal activities, or

(3) sexual acts or materials that are not age- appropriate, or

c. abandonment.

Under 21 O.S. § 843.5, both child abuse and child neglect are felonies punishable by a maximum of life in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges for child abuse, neglect, or endangerment, contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible to find a proactive solution that may be able to help you conquer your demons and restore your family as quickly as possible.




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