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NEWS: Crime

OKC Dad Accused Of Driving While Drugged With Kids In Car

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Charles Lerma mug shot. Charles Lerma mug shot.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Police arrested an Oklahoma City father after witnesses say he swerved his car across the road and veered into a car wash, all while three children were screaming in the backseat.

Police were called to S.W. 104th Street and Santa Fe around 9:30 p.m. on November 1. Several witnesses had followed a car after watching the driver swerve across the road, hitting the curb several times. The car also hit another vehicle.

The car finally pulled into a car wash, and witnesses rushed to the vehicle after hearing children scream. They found three young kids inside. One witness removed the keys from the car so the driver couldn't leave.

Police found the driver, identified as 31-year-old Charles Lerma, sitting on the curb. An officer said he was heavily drooling, and could barely stand up or keep his eyes open. The officer tried to question Lerma about what happened, but said the suspect's speech was so slurred and garbled, he couldn't understand a word Lerma said.

Lerma was eventually able to tell the officer that he was driving his children to get some candy. He also said he hadn't been drinking. The officer said he didn't smell any alcohol on Lerma, but when he searched the car, he found an empty bottle of Hydrocodone. According to the bottle, a prescription for 200 pills was filled October 1. There should have been 20 pills left, but the bottle was empty.

Police also discovered Lerma's driver's license had been suspended.

Police questioned the children in the car. An 8-year-old child said their dad told them they were going to get candy, but instead they just drove around for hours. The child told the officer, "It has been a scary ride."

Police arrested Lerma and booked him into the Oklahoma County jail for child endangerment by driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence while transporting a minor, and driving under suspension.

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