TRACY (CBS13) – A mom picked up her daughter from school, only to get picked up by police. She allegedly drove drunk with her 5-year-old in the car.

Witnesses say they knew something wasn’t right as the mother pulled onto campus.

Witnesses, including school staff and other parents picking up their kids, say Ashley Phelps, 26, drove into the parking lot going the wrong way.

“I think that’s kind of shocking,” mother Amy Smith said.

To most parents, it seems like the unthinkable: a mother putting her own child’s life at risk. But that’s exactly what Tracy police say happened at Monticello Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.

School staffers reported the incident to police.

“They had observed a parent driving into the parking lot in an erratic fashion, in the wrong direction,” Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

It didn’t take long to make an arrest because witnesses recognized Phelps. Officers tracked her down at home a few minutes later.

“We contacted her near the car with the engine still warm,” said Sheneman.

“That’s not good judgment, obviously,” said Jason Coates, whose child attends the school.

Parents are still baffled. They find it incomprehensible Phelps would pull into a busy school parking lot drunk in the middle of the day, putting lots of kids in jeopardy.

“The fact that it happened at a school, anyone of them could be walking outside at that time,” parent Stephanie Payne said. “I’m angry.”

Now, parents hope this mother learns a lesson that extends far beyond the classroom.

“I hope they would be severe with the penalty for that,” said Payne.

Phelps was released from county jail Thursday night. She could face a charge of felony child endangerment. The 5-year-old girl is doing fine and is staying with family.


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