Catalina Clouser's Baby Was in the Car During Boyfriend's DUI, Before Being Dumped in Phoenix Intersection

Turns out, the baby belonging to 19-year-old Catalina Clouser was allegedly put into harm's way by two acts of moronic driving Friday night.

As we told you this morning, Phoenix police say Clouser put her kid in a car seat late that night, but forgot to put the baby/car seat into the vehicle, and drove 12 miles before driving back to find her kid had been discovered by another driver in the middle of a Phoenix intersection.

Now, we've discovered that Clouser's kid was also in the backseat of her boyfriend's car while he was pulled over and arrested for DUI earlier that night, in which Clouser yelled at her boyfriend "because she thought he was going to kill her," according to court documents obtained by New Times.

An officer heard on his radio about a car swerving on the roadway just shy of 11 p.m. Friday, and caught up with the vehicle near 7th Street and Camelback Road.

According to the documents, the driver -- 19-year-old Manuel Pena -- drove in the turn lane for about a block before actually making the left, which he did right in front of an oncoming car.

Police say the vehicle "had to come to almost a complete stop" to avoid hitting Pena, and the cops pulled Pena over for that.

The officer writes that Pena had a "blank stare on his face," and 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."

The officer notes that Clouser's and Pena's 2-month-old baby was in the backseat.

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

That's the prequel to the story we brought you this morning, as those court documents state that Clouser had also partaken in the pot-smoking, so they gave her a ride to her boyfriend's house.

Clouser eventually made it to a friend's house near 45th Avenue and West Lupine Avenue, before driving away from that house about midnight.

By 12:45 a.m., someone was phoning up the cops, letting them know that they just drove through the intersection of 45th Avenue and Cholla, where they found a baby in a car seat sitting right in the middle of it.

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

Police say Clouser admitted that she just smoked some more marijuana just after midnight; she also was jailed for driving under the influence of an intoxicating drug.

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

Clouser's facing charges of child abuse and aggravated DUI.

Before being released from jail with a stipulation of electronic monitoring, a prosecutor called Clouser's case "disturbing" and "very scary" at Clouser's initial appearance.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley