ELIZABETHTON — A woman who police said left her infant alone in a car in the Walmart parking lot Monday evening was arrested on several charges.
Tonya Renee Richards Coleman, 40, 102 Honeycutt Private Drive, Johnson City, was charged with attempted child neglect, driving under the influence, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of a schedule IV drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on June 18.
Officer Matthew Taylor of the Elizabethton Police Department said he was dispatched to the lot to investigate a complaint about an infant left unattended in a car.
Several minutes after he arrived on the scene, Taylor said Coleman approached. He said she had restricted pupils, slurred speech and her walk was unsteady. He said Coleman told him she was looking at the flowers for sale and did not want to get the baby out in the cold. She said she checked on the child numerous times while shopping. He said surveillance showed her last statement to be untrue. He said Coleman had shopped for 10 minutes without checking on the child.
Taylor conducted a field sobriety test and said Coleman performed poorly. He said she told him she has prescriptions for Soma, Lortab, Xanax and Percocet. He said she told him she “snorts” the pills because of esophagus problems.
Inside her purse, Taylor said he found a small container holding pills identified as containing oxycodone, carisoprodol and alprazolam. A pill crusher and cut straw were also found in her purse. Taylor said Coleman told him she had driven to the Elizabethton Walmart from Johnson City.