Toddler Came Home from Daycare Dangerously Drunk & It May Not Have Been the First Time

Fox 5

A  daycare owner in Frederick, Maryland, is facing criminal charges after police investigated her for allegedly putting one of the children in her care in serious danger. The repercussions come after the mother of one of the kids was called because her son was exhibiting strange behavior. When she took the toddler to the doctor, he informed her that the boy was heavily intoxicated. Now, police have arrested the daycare owner, but she is denying knowing anything about how the little boy got in such bad shape.

  • The incident happened in April in the home of Doris Marie Ott, who ran a daycare center out of her house.

    According to The Frederick News-Post, Detective Michael Toste met with the toddler's mom on April 10 after she picked him up form 50-year-old Ott's care and took him directly to the hospital. The mother, who has not been named by the media, reportedly told authorities that when she dropped her son off at daycare at about 8:30 that morning, he had been acting normally. 

    His condition, however, reportedly deteriorated while in Ott's care. Fox 5 reports that charging documents state that during the day, the boy had fallen out of his chair while eating, was having difficulty waking up, and was “pale and limp.” The Frederick News-Post added that around 3:45 p.m., Ott called the mom to tell her she was having a hard time waking up the little boy. The boy's mother retrieved her son and rushed him to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

    Doctors at the hospital smelled alcohol on the boy's breath while examining him and confirmed that he was intoxicated. His blood alcohol level was .203 -- three times the legal driving limit of an adult. According to Fox News, his doctor believes it's likely that his level was even higher earlier. The mother also reportedly told investigators there were three times in the previous week where she had smelled alcohol on her son, but at the time she believed it was the smell of hand sanitizer or baby wipes.

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  • When questioned by authorities, Ott vehemently defended herself and denied having anything to do with the poor well-being of the child.

    During questioning on April 11 about whether she had served alcohol to the toddler, Ott reportedly denied the allegations. However, Ott did allow authorities to search her home and they discovered a refrigerator in an unfinished part of the basement next to the daycare portion of her house with several alcoholic beverages in it. Ott told investigators that it would have been impossible for the toddler to access the alcohol without leaving any evidence behind.

    When asked how the boy became intoxicated, the daycare owner had no answers for the detective. "She said that she was the sole person alone with the children at the daycare that day,” Toste explained. “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.”

    Ott's daycare license was suspended April 12 and couldn't be reinstated until the investigation was over, deeming her facility safe. On May 23, her license was officially revoked and she surrendered her registration on September 24. 

  • An arrest warrant for neglect of a minor and reckless endangerment was issued for Ott on December 26.

    The warrant was served December 29, but Ott was released from jail after signing a written promise to appear in court. The trial is scheduled for February.

    Ott's attorney Michelle Martz defended her client's innocence to Fox 5 in a statement where she claimed Ott was "completely innocent": 

    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. 
    The parents of the boy have refused to speak publicly of their case, but charging documents stated that he has completely recovered.

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