Intoxicated woman reported for child abuse

Woman treated at hospital for alcohol and prescription drug abuse

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A woman is facing a Class-5 Felony charge of reckless child abuse after drinking herself into a stupor while leaving her children to fend for themselves.

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was dispatched at about 8:40 p.m. on Sunday to the Mt. Graham Apartments at 2040 S. 20th Ave. after a caller advised some children from a neighboring apartment came to her apartment concerned about their mother. The children, ages 6, 9, and 10, said their mother had passed out and they were frightened for her.

The neighbor gave the children some food to eat and called the police. Upon arrival, an officer located the mother, identified as Caroline Hooke, lying on the floor of the living room. The officer noted Hooke appeared extremely intoxicated.

Hooke allegedly advised she had drunk a fifth of liquor (slightly more than 25 ounces or the equivalent of about 16 shots of liquor) and had taken some hydrocodone pills. Hydrocodone is a prescription synthetic opioid combined with acetaminophen.

Paramedics arrived at the residence and after evaluating Hooke transported her to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for treatment. The children were taken to Bylas, where they were given to a San Carlos Police Department officer who then transported them to their grandmother’s house.

During his investigation, the officer noted there wasn’t any furniture in the apartment, which also had clothes strewn about. He added that the cupboards and refrigerator were mostly empty as well.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety was contacted regarding the case, and the officer also forwarded his report to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review and possible charging of reckless child abuse.