Mom Drives SUV With Kids Into House

Woman charged with intoxication assault, child abandonment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Claudia Melendez, a mother of two, has been charged with intoxication assault and two counts of child abandonment after crashing her SUV through a home in the 1400 block of Kelly Terrace in Arlington. (Published Thursday, May 24, 2012)

    An Arlington mother charged with intoxication assault is accused of driving a sport utility vehicle into a house while her two children were in the vehicle.

    Claudia Melendez is charged with intoxication assault and two counts of child abandonment.

    Police said Melendez admitted to using cocaine and drinking alcohol.

    She crashed into the bedroom of a home on Kelly Terrace, just off Park Row.

    "When I came in the house I could not believe ... that a car could do that much damage to a house," Doyel Thompson said.

    He and his wife were out of town. Otherwise, they would have been in the bedroom when the SUV crashed in.

    "My wife and I would have been right there, and that's my wife's side of the bed where the car came through," Thompson said.

    Officer Stacie Brown said children make a situation more sensitive.

    "They don't understand that their mom is intoxicated and so when mom says, 'Get in the car,' they get in the car, so it's always harder for an officer to see that, because you're putting their lives in jeopardy with that choice to drink and drive," she said.

    The children were released to a relative from Cook Children's Medical Center.

    The Arlington Police Department said it will have a no-refusal campaign this Memorial Day weekend.