St. Louis mom made 8-year-old son drive because she was passed out after drinking, police say

Francis Akhalbey April 22, 2024
Latonya Mayes-Gale made her 8-year-old son drive her home because she was drunk -- Photo Credit: St. Louis Metro PD

Authorities in St. Louis have brought charges against a woman who allegedly made her 8-year-old son drive her and her toddler home because she was intoxicated and had passed out. 

According to KDSK, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said Latonya Mayes-Gale’s 8-year-old son was spotted driving in the wrong traffic direction around 4 a.m. on April 15. Her toddler was also left unsecured in the backseat at the time.

Mayes-Gale has since been charged with two felony counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, creating substantial risk. Police said Mayes-Gale’s 8-year-old son drove the vehicle because his mother was unable to drive, with charging documents also stating that she had passed out and was in the car’s back seat when they were found. 

“Defendant couldn’t drive the motor vehicle and instructed [the 8-year-old] to drive the motor vehicle for her,” the affidavit stated, per NBC News. “Defendant was in the rear of the motor vehicle unconscious and Victim# 2, who is three years of age, was unsecured in the backseat.”

A law enforcement source also told KDSK that a security officer spotted the boy driving and pulled him over. The security officer subsequently got in touch with the police. A law enforcement source said the minor’s mother instructed him to drive them home because she was intoxicated and tired.

Mayes-Gale was later detained after police took her to the hospital to ascertain if she was “fit for confinement.” She was subsequently released pending trial.

In the wake of the incident, Mayes-Gale’s lawyer, Steven Kratky, told NBC News that the mother-of-two is a home health aide who looks after an elderly, homebound grandparent. Kratky also stated that in court.

Court records state that Mayes-Gale’s bond hearing is set for April 23. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 22, 2024


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