Catalina Clouser Pleads Not Guilty to Driving Around With Her Baby on the Roof

Another example of how not to be a parent was in a Maricopa County courtroom this morning, as 19-year-old Catalina Clouser pleaded not guilty to driving about 12 miles before realizing she had left her baby on the roof of her car.

That incident, which occurred on June 1, came a few hours after that 2-month-old baby was in the backseat of her boyfriend's car while he was arrested for DUI.

Clouser's boyfriend, 19-year-old Manuel Pena, was pulled over after a police officer watched him drive in the turn lane for a while, then eventually make the left turn right in front of another car, according to court documents previously obtained by New Times.

The documents said Pena had a "blank stare on his face," but Pena told the officer that he didn't know why he was pulled over, adding that he never saw any car that he pulled in front of.

Clouser later told the officer "she saw [the near-collision] and started to yell at [Pena] because she thought he was going to kill her."

Pena admitted to smoking "3-4 blunts" before driving, according to the documents.

Clouser then took her kiddo to a friend's house, and just a couple hours later, she decided she was going to smoke more weed and take her turn at driving with the kid in her car.

Problem is, the baby never made it in the car.

Police were made aware of this when someone called the cops to inform them of the baby in a car seat sitting in the middle of the intersection at 45th Avenue and Cholla, meaning the baby fell off the roof of the car in the intersection a few hundred feet away from Clouser's starting point.

Clouser realized she'd never actually placed the baby inside the car and retraced her route -- she was 12 miles away at this point, near 83rd Avenue -- and showed up to the location where police officers were investigating the baby in the intersection.

The youngster was taken to the hospital but was released with no injuries.

Clouser pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse and aggravated DUI. She's currently out of jail with electronic monitoring.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley