Weatherford Democrat

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October 18, 2012

Woman arrested for passing out in car with 3-year-old

PARKER COUNTY — Accused of endangering her 3-year-old son, a woman found passed out in an unlocked vehicle with an unsecured and unsupervised child is facing criminal charges.

Tiffany Gwyn Gowins, 25, of Weatherford, was arrested last week on a warrant for child endangerment. CPS has also placed her son in foster care after the incident.

Weatherford police responded to a call at the Super Value Inn shortly after 2 a.m. Oct. 4 requesting they stand by while the manager requested a woman and her child leave the hotel.

The manager told officers that Gowins was a guest of an occupant and her 3-year-old was keeping a neighboring occupant awake.

Officers were then informed that Gowins was in her vehicle with her child and was possibly intoxicated.

They reportedly found her passed out in the driver’s seat smelling of alcohol and the 3-year-old boy “jumping and crawling around the vehicle.”

An officer opened the door and attempted to wake the woman but couldn’t, though she was found to be breathing.

As officers were waiting for the ambulance, the toddler opened the passenger side door without assistance and attempted to get out of the vehicle but was prevented from doing so by an officer standing by the door, police reported.

“If officers had not been there, the 3-year-old child could have opened the door and left without any supervision from an adult,” Det. Lannie Fulton wrote in the probable cause affidavit filed with Municipal Judge Ben Sasin.

The boy was able to tell officers his name and that Gowins was his mother but could not say where he lived.

EMS personnel were also initially unable to wake Gowins but after loading her into the ambulance did so with a shot of adrenaline used for people under the influence of narcotics, according to police.

Gowins was combative when she awoke and attempted to kick EMS personnel several times before being restrained to the gurney, according to police.

She reportedly told EMS personnel that she had taken Xanax and Valium.

While looking for her identification, officers reportedly found two and a half loose hydrocodone pills in her wallet.

Gowins, who also had outstanding warrants, was transported and admitted to the hospital.

Child Protective Services was called and, after they could not initially get a hold of a family member, placed the boy in foster care.

The boy had no shoes and his clothes were dirty, according to the CPS investigator.

He was dirty, had a “faint, foul odor,” and had insect bites and scratches on his arms and legs, according to CPS court filings.

One family member later told CPS that they heard Gowins had recently left a restaurant with her child while drunk and on drugs.

Gowins later denied to CPS that she had taken Xanax or Valium, attributing the incident to a seizure, but did reportedly admit to having a “few beers.”

During the phone call while Gowins was in the hospital, the woman did not ask the CPS worker how her son was doing, according to court documents.

CPS also found that both Gowins and the boy’s father have a history of domestic violence and drug use.

“Ms. Gowins left her child in a dangerous situation of being unsupervised during the middle of the night close to a busy highway,” the CPS investigator wrote.

Gowins remained in the Parker County Jail Wednesday on the child endangerment charge, as well as several outstanding Palo Pinto County warrants, without bond.

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