WARSAW — A North Manchester woman is facing child neglect charges after she was found slumped over her vehicle’s steering wheel in the Kmart parking lot.
Lauren Mykal Patterson, 23, 12600 S. SR 13, North Manchester, is being charged with count I neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony, and count II inhaling toxic vapors a class B misdemeanor.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 6 an officer with the Warsaw Police Department was flagged down in front of Owen’s by a male citizen. The man advised the officer of a female slumped over the steering wheel in a white van with a small child present in the Kmart parking lot. The man thought the child was scared based on the way she was moving and yelling.
The officer arrived at Kmart and located the white van. Patterson was in the driver seat with a small child in the back. The affidavit states that Patterson appeared to be in an “altered” state of mind and was pale in the face.
The affidavit states that a can of Ultra Duster was sitting between the driver seat and the driver’s door, with another can of air duster sitting in the center console. The air duster in the console was cold and wet to the touch, consistent with the product being used.
The affidavit continues, saying medics arrived to treat Patterson. She admitted to them that she had been huffing, advising she had been in the parking lot for two hours. She then advised the officer on scene that she had been huffing in the Kmart parking lot, and that the inhalants make her lightheaded and she typically passes out.
Patterson was booked into Kosciusko Jail and held on $5,250 surety and cash bond.