CHURCH HILL — A Church Hill mother who police described as being “extremely intoxicated” on medication when she was arrested last week for shoplifting faces several charges including child neglect.
Church Hill Police Department Officer Will Mullins was dispatched to the Food City store last Thursday evening around 6:30 p.m. after the manager reported watching Ashley D. Christian on surveillance cameras shoplifting.
Christian, 24, 153 Hoard Lane, Lot 26, Church Hill, reportedly brought her four-month-old child into the store in a carrier/child car seat and had the child in a buggy as she shopped. The video surveillance allegedly showed Christian stuffing several items — mainly cleaning supplies — into the baby carrier.
“She took like Mr. Clean, Magic Eraser, Tide- to-Go, Glade scented oil and various other cleaning products — and when they got her down to the jail they found a small stuffed animal down in her bra,” Mullins said Monday. “It totaled up to $66.23 worth of stuff. Ms. Christian stated that she did not have enough money to pay for all of her items and was going to pay for what she put in her buggy.”
Mullins said he also observed Christian to be unsteady on her feet with slurred speech. Christian reportedly admitted to him she is prescribed Xanax and Lortab, although Mullins allegedly found her holding 14 pills in her hand including 10 blue pills believed to be Lortab and four white and brown capsules.
Christian was charged with theft under $500, public intoxication, violation of the Tennessee Drug Control Act, and child neglect.
The child neglect charge stemmed from Christian allegedly being under the influence of drugs while caring for her infant child. Christian had allegedly driven to the store in that condition prior to her arrest.
The Department of Children’s Services was called to the scene to take custody of the child.