A toddler found drunk at a Maryland hospital became intoxicated at a daycare center run out of the operator’s home, police said in documents outlining criminal charges against the woman.
Frederick County Detective Michael Toste met with the toddler’s parents at the hospital on April 10, 2018. The child’s mother said she picked him up from the daycare and took him to the hospital, where a doctor smelled alcohol on the toddler’s breath.
Testing revealed that boy had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit for an adult to drive in the state.
After a monthslong investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Doris Marie Ott, 50, the daycare operator. Her license was suspended and eventually revoked after the toddler was found drunk but she has now been charged with neglect of a minor and reckless endangerment.
Ott had run the daycare for 18 years before the incident.
According to charging documents obtained by Fox 5, the boy was at the daycare when he fell out of his chair, wouldn’t wake up, and was “pale and limp.” Ott called the boy’s mother, who rushed him to the hospital. She said she smelled the alcohol but thought it was hand sanitizer or baby wipes.
Ott said there was no alcohol that the toddler could have accessed at her house and that she was not drinking.
Detectives found several alcoholic beverages in a refrigerator in the basement adjacent to the daycare portion of the house but Ott said the child couldn’t have accessed the fridge and drunk the alcohol without leaving any evidence behind.
Toste, the detective, said that Ott could not provide an explanation as to what led to the boy’s intoxication.
“She said that she was the sole person alone with the children at the daycare that day,” Toste told the Frederick News-Post. “So as far as what happened, that would be up to her to tell us, and she hasn’t done so yet. … You always hope that you get from them a when, what, why and how, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”
Frederick County child was drunk in daycare operator's care, investigators say https://t.co/M43Z8C0pmk pic.twitter.com/zubQnDvwlP
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) January 16, 2019
Ott declined to comment but her attorney Michelle Martz said in a statement to Fox: “Mrs. Ott ran a successful daycare facility in the Walkersville community for 18 years. She provided a safe environment in her own home, caring deeply for every child entrusted to her care. She has a whole community that stands with her.”
“Mrs. Ott is completely innocent and has been cooperative from the start. Charging Mrs. Ott was wrong. We look forward to attacking this in court,” Martz added.
Martz added to the News-Post that Ott has no intention of running a daycare again.
She also said that Ott’s withdrawal of an appeal regarding the license revocation shouldn’t be “construed in any way as an admission or acknowledgment of any wrongdoing.”
Ott’s arrest warrant was served on Dec. 29, and she was released after signing a written promise to appear in court.
According to the charging documents, the boy, who has not been named or described at all, such as by age, is in good health. The child’s parents declined to comment publicly.
From NTD News