A Pasco mother is accused of letting her 2-year-old son wander alone for almost four hours in a park near Connell while she was passed out drunk in a van.
Parkgoers reportedly took care of the boy and even changed his dirty diaper until a Franklin County sheriff's deputy was able to find mother Dawn Annette Smith.
Smith, 36, was arrested Saturday evening and booked into jail.
On Tuesday, she appeared in Franklin County District Court on suspicion of second-degree abandonment of a dependent person. She was released without bail.
Prosecutors have until Thursday afternoon to file charges.
According to court documents, Deputy Terry Brown responded to Scootney Park at 7:45 p.m. Saturday for reports of an abandoned child. The park is off Highway 17 about five miles west of Connell.
Witnesses told Brown that Smith "appeared to be extremely intoxicated and had ignored a small child for hours," documents said.
Earlier in the afternoon, witnesses reportedly saw Smith and the boy close to the water when she fell to the ground. Smith "regained her feet and ran to the bathrooms, leaving the child behind and actually pushing the boy away," court documents said.
The child was then seen wandering in the park close to the open water, documents said.
Brown allegedly found Smith sitting in the back seat of a van passed out with several alcoholic beverages inside. She was unable to walk without staggering, Brown wrote in his report to prosecutors.
"Ms. Smith had no idea where her 2-year-old son may be at the time of contact with the deputy," court documents said.
The child was later turned over to his father, documents said.
Pasco woman accused of using stolen ID, checks
PASCO — A 32-year-old woman is being held on $10,000 bail for allegedly using another woman's stolen drivers license and checks to get cash at a Pasco casino.
Angelica Marie Ortega of Pasco pleaded innocent in Franklin County Superior Court to two counts of second-degree identity theft. Her trial is set Aug. 18.
The victim reported her purse stolen at 5:17 p.m. June 11 from a Kennewick grocery store. The purse had her drivers license, Social Security card and checks for her account at HAPO Community Credit Union.
Just 20 minutes after the theft, Ortega allegedly went into the Crazy Moose Casino on South 20th Avenue and claimed to be the victim. She showed the other woman's identification before cashing one of the HAPO checks for $350, court documents said.
Ortega also filled out a check-cashing application and signed it in the victim's name, documents said. Video surveillance reportedly recorded the transaction.
Ortega returned to the casino June 25 and was recognized by staff, who called police. She denied several times that she cashed the check until confronted with the video, court documents said.
Ortega claimed a woman she only knew as "Maria" gave her the identification and checks and told her to cash a check. She would then get $50, Ortega claimed according to the documents.
Grandview man given year in jail for assault
GRANDVIEW — A Grandview man was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking a man's nose in a fight over a woman.
Luis Antonio Cordero, 21, pleaded guilty June 9 to second-degree assault. He is allowed to serve the assault sentence along with an earlier prison term ordered for a first-degree burglary conviction.
Court documents state that Cordero confronted Miguel Adams-Cruz on March 19 because he had been talking to Cordero's girlfriend the day before. Cordero then attacked him, requiring Adams-Cruz to get surgery on his broken nose and later, surgery for his left eye because he was having trouble seeing.
A witness identified Cordero as the suspect. Cordero told Pasco police that he was involved in the fight but claimed it was in self-defense.
Pasco police learned of the assault after being called to Lourdes Medical Center at 9:25 p.m. for the 28-year-old victim.
Cordero was ordered to repay $1,221 to the Crime Victims Compensation Program of Olympia for Adams-Cruz's medical expenses and other costs.
* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org