Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 12, 2013

Woman jailed, intoxicated with two toddlers

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah police arrested a woman this week after she was found unresponsive while her 3-year-old and 15-month-old children played outside.

Lacey L. Van Dolah, 27, was arrested by police Tuesday for two counts of child endangerment.

Officer Reed Felts’ probable cause affidavit says police were called to Larry Avenue, where Cherokee Nation EMS medics found a semi-conscious Van Dolah. Her two children had been outside of the apartment, playing in the street, but a neighbor saw them and took them back home.

The neighbor was unable to wake Van Dolah, so 911 was called. Medics were eventually able to wake her, but she appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant, so medics called police.

Felts said he arrived and introduced himself to Van Dolah, who began to curse and yell. Van Dolah demanded the medics leave her house. Officers noticed three empty beer bottles sitting on a window sill. When asked if she was on medication, Van Dolah retrieved four pill bottles.

Felts saw three empty beer boxes on the kitchen floor, and several empty beer bottles in a trash can. Van Dolah allegedly admitted she had consumed six beers that day, and had also taken medication. Felts said Van Dolah claimed she took her medicine and drank beer “all the time” and that it doesn’t affect her.

When officers summoned the Department of Human Services, Van Dolah started cooking dinner for her children. Felts reported Van Dolah would “calm down for a few minutes and start to joke with Officer [Jake] Keys and me, and then she would become enraged and begin cursing and yelling again, saying things like, ‘No one is going to take [my] f-----g kids away... .”

When the dinner was ready, Van Dolah put her 15-month-old child in a high chair, pulled it up to her couch, and began feeding her children.

DHS representatives explained to Van Dolah that the children were going to be put in the care of their grandmother for a few days. Felts said Van Dolah then shoved the high chair, nearly knocking it over with her 15-month-old child inside, but Felts and Keys caught the chair. Van Dolah had to be restrained by three officers.

Felts retrieved Van Dolah’s medication, which she said she would need to take to jail. He noticed the Clonazepam prescription had been filled April 4 with 60 pills, and the bottle was empty; a Flexeril bottle had seven Clonazepam pills inside of it. Van Dolah allegedly said she had taken 10 pills earlier Tuesday, and that she would need to take eight to 10 pills at a time for them to work.

Flexeril is a muscle relaxer. Clonazepam also has relaxant properties, but is also used as a sedative to relieve anxiety.

Police said Van Dolah resisted arrest, and removed a seat belt after she was placed in a patrol car, but she was eventually taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center. She refused to answer officers’ questions there, and tried to pull away when being escorted to a changing room.

Formal charges have not been filed. Court records show Van Dolah was charged with a misdemeanor count of public intoxication last December, later pleaded no contest, and was ordered to pay costs to the court.

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