Raleigh Mother Charged With Child Neglect After Alcohol Incident
Posted February 20, 2006 5:29 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh mother charged with child abuse and neglect said Monday that charges against her are a result of a big misunderstanding.
A security officer found Andrea Gwen Armold, 23, and her 3-year-old daughter in a Chevrolet Blazer early Sunday in a Highwoods business parking lot off Capital Boulevard, police said.
The officer said Armold appeared to be very intoxicated and told police that she and the child were in the vehicle with no heat in 20-degree weather.
Armold, however, said she is a victim.
On Saturday night, Armold said, she and a friend took her daughter to eat at Bahama Breeze, where she only had a couple of drinks.
"Someone had to put something in my drink," Armold said.
She said the last thing she remembers about that night is walking out of the restaurant and putting her daughter in her sport utility vehicle.
Early Sunday morning, Armold said, she woke up in the passenger seat of the Blazer -- naked from the waste down -- and had been assaulted. She was cold, scared and unsure where she and her daughter were, she said.
"The car was dead, so I couldn't start the car," she said. "So, I started a fire out in the parking lot for us to keep warm, and I knew it would draw attention."
The young mother said she grabbed paper and anything she could find to burn.
Police said Armold burned her pants and underwear, but Armold disputed that, saying she wore bloody pants. She believes she may have burned another pair in the sport utility vehicle.
"Something happened. I just don't recollect what happened," Armold said.
She can't explain why her blood alcohol level was recorded at .25, more than three times the limit to drive -- hours after police picked her up.
Charged with contributing to the abuse and neglect of a child, Armold was released on bond Sunday. She wants her daughter, who has been placed in foster care, back.
"It's not my fault," she said. "I couldn't -- do you think I would do that to my child? No, I would never do that. And, like I said, I tried to make the best out of the situation."
Armold admits Child Protective Services has been involved with her family before, investigating incidents with her ex-husband.
Police also charged Armold with marijuana possession, littering and illegal burning
Detectives continue to investigate the case and Armold's claims that she was assaulted, but say they have no evidence to support her claims that she was drugged.