Coraopolis mom left kids on curb while she was drinking in bar, cops say
A Coraopolis woman left two young children on the curb of a busy street this week while she drank at a nearby bar, prompting worried passersby to call police, authorities said.
Jennifer Taylor, 38, is charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment for allegedly leaving her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was looking after on the side of Fourth Avenue.
Taylor told police she'd stopped at the Cory Village Café to buy some Mike's Hard Lemonade to go but stayed for one drink while she was there, according to the criminal complaint.
Witness Holly Macbeth told police otherwise, saying she'd seen Taylor with the two children at a nearby McDonald's and then saw her have two mixed drinks at the bar, according to the complaint.
She said she also saw the children outside, and the boy was trying to get his mother's attention.
“He's yelling across the street, ‘Mommy, Mommy, I love you,' and she's waving back at them,” Macbeth told Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV.
“If those kids would have walked across the road and got hit, she wouldn't have even noticed,” Macbeth told the TV station.
Police escorted Taylor out of the bar, noting she was visibly intoxicated, according to the complaint. She told officers the boy is her son and she was watching the young girl for a friend. She said she'd left both of them in the care of her 17-year-old son.
She also said she had a prescription for Suboxone and other medications that could have enhanced the effects of the alcohol, police wrote in the complaint.
Police took Taylor and the children to the station and called Children, Youth and Family services, officers wrote. They also contacted the girl's father, for whom Taylor had given the wrong last name.
Security footage from the nearby McDonald's showed Taylor purchasing meals for the children and eating them on the patio before walking them to the adjacent parking lot and leaving them there about 7:55 p.m., according to the complaint.
The footage showed Taylor walk into the bar, and the children were alone for about 10 minutes before police arrived, according to the complaint.
Officers wrote that the children could have been in even more danger if witnesses did not intervene.