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Police: Mom arrested after leaving baby on car roof and driving off

A 19-year-old Arizona mother who police say left her 5-week-old baby strapped in a car seat atop her car roof and drove off is under arrest on child abuse and aggravated DUI charges, Phoenix-area media reported Saturday.

The child, found in the middle of the road, was "perfectly OK," said Officer James Holmes, Phoenix police spokesman, told The Arizona Republic.

The car seat was damaged, Holmes told TV station KTVK.


The baby is in the custody of Arizona Child Protective Services, officials said.

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, police got calls from the area near North 45th Avenue and West Cholla Street in northwest Phoenix that a baby was in a car seat in the middle of a road, The Arizona Republic reported.

Phoenix Fire Department officials found the baby and took him to a local hospital, officials said.

Holmes told reporters that the mother, Catalina Clouser, had apparently been smoking marijuana late Friday night at a nearby park with her boyfriend.

About 11 p.m. they left the park to buy some beer, and the boyfriend was arrested on aggravated DUI charges while on the way, Holmes told The Republic.

An upset Clouser then reportedly went to a friend's house, where police say she admitted smoking more marijuana, Holmes said. Clouser left the house with the baby asleep in the car seat about midnight, he said.

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Before driving away, Clouser apparently forgot that she had left her child sitting on the roof of her car, Holmes said.

Clouser realized the baby was missing when she reached home, and started calling friends to look for him and retrace her route, KTVK reported.

The friends ran into the officers who were investigating after the baby was found, and when Clouser arrived, she was arrested, KTVK reported.

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