Imagine you’re sitting in a local fast food restaurant just trying to eat your lunch, when suddenly four children run into the place screaming and crying. These children apparently were not playing, which is what diner, Josh Kramer, surmised.
Kramer says he immediately was concerned for the four children, all 11-years old, two girls and two boys, one of whom told him that, “they just left Ruby Tuesday, and his mom was really drunk and swerving all over the road.”
The young boy also told Kramer, “She hit a pole and broke a mirror off her car. When the car stopped, they all jumped out and ran into the restaurant. One witness says she heard the screaming from the parking lot.
Kramer says that he immediately called 911, and while he was on the phone with the emergency operator, the mother came into the Steak ‘N Shake screaming at the children to get back into her car. What a bizarre scene this must have been.
The children took off running around the restaurant trying to keep away from the allegedly drunk mother. Kramer says he intervened, getting all of the children to stand together on the sidewalk outside. He told them the police were on their way and that they would be safe.
When Gainesville police arrived, the children ran to them and this is the story that the police heard from the scared little ones: during the day, the accused, Angela Woodruff, drove the children all over town from their home in Interlachen to Gainesville, where they went to several places including a Chinese restaurant and a bowling alley. They say that mom drank two pitchers of beer while bowling.
According to the children, Woodruff had four drinks while they were at the Ruby Tuesday. While she drank, they say they roamed the mall. Police confirmed the purchase of the drinks through charge receipts.
During a search of her car, police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Woodruff was uncooperative and was arrested and taken to jail.
The children were each returned to their parents, while Ms. Woodruff’s son is with other relatives.
She is charged with four felony counts of child neglect, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest.
Question: should she be charged with child endangerment and drunk driving? What do you think? Thankfully, no one was physically hurt in what could have been a very tragic incident.