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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Police: Mom does ‘whippets,’ falls asleep with tot in car

A Bradenton mother was seen inhaling “whippets” and feel asleep at the wheel of her car Friday night while her 1-year-old was in the back seat, Sarasota police said.

Jennifer Ann Lee, 29, faces a charge of child neglect after police said they removed about 20 “whippets” from her car. Whippets are small containers containing an inhalant such as nitrous oxide.

According to an arrest report, a passer-by found Lee asleep in her car about 9:20 p.m. at University Parkway and North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, and her son was asleep in the back seat. According to the report, the passer-by offered to drive Lee and her son out of the road, and Lee agreed.

The car was driven about a block to a parking lot at 5150 N. Tamiami Trail, the report said. The passer-by called a friend to check on Lee and the child, and the friend call authorities.

The friend told dispatchers Lee was doing “whippets” in front of him, according to the report.

From outside Lee’s car, officers saw several small canisters in the car by Lee’s feet, the report said. When Lee got out of the car to speak with officers, another “whippet” was located in the driver’s seat, the report said.

According to police, Lee admitted to falling asleep at the intersection, saying, “I was tired and it happens.”

When being read her Miranda rights, Lee was “highly uncooperative” and “unleashed a verbal attack on all officers present,” police said.

A relative of Lee’s was called to watch the child during the investigation. A representative of the state Department of Children & Families met with “all parties” after the arrest, the report said.

Lee, of 955 53rd St. E., was booked early Saturday morning at the Sarasota County Jail and released later that day after posting $2,000 bond, according to jail records.

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