A night at a bar has landed a Mesa mother in jail because, rather than spend a little of her money paying a babysitter, she opted to bring her two kids with her, leaving them to sleep in her car in the bar's parking lot as she drank inside.
Rebecca Barrera, 27, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of child abuse after police found her two children -- ages 8 and 6 -- sleeping in her car, parked in the Hurricane Bay Night Club's lot in Mesa.
About 1 a.m. on Sunday, an off-duty policeofficer assigned to the club because of the large number of fights and other alcohol-related incidents that occur there, walked by the car and noticed the children in the back seat. The officer also noted several drunk people surrounding the car and the keys to the vehicle sitting in the front seat, in plain view of anyone who walked by.
The officer called police, who tried to track down the kids' parents, but were unable do so immediately.
The officers went inside and had the DJ at the club make an announcement that they were looking for the parents of the children.
That's when, according to the arrest report, Barrera identified herself to officers as a "friend" of the children's mother and offered to go inside the bar and find her.
After about 10 minutes of waiting for Barrera to emerge from the bar with the mother, police went inside and found her hiding in the women's bathroom.
As she was leaving the bar, police say, she admitted she was the mother of the children but claimed she was only at the bar to find a friend who had called for a ride.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The arresting officers smelled alcohol on the Barrera's breath, and when they asked her if she'd been drinking, she claimed she'd had half a beer.
After blowing into a portable breath-test machine, it was determined that her blood alcohol content was .152.
Barrera later admitted to detectives that she'd consumed several drinks before going to the bar and had driven at least four times since she'd begun drinking -- to several different places -- with the children in the car.
Barrera is being held on a $5,000 bond.