When on May 4, Torina Ann Gutierrez’s first grader started acting strangely in class, the Popham Elementary School in Del Valle, Tex., naturally contacted Gutierrez, 34. When told that her child was talking to people who were not there and complaining of a “banging in her head,” Gutierrez told the school counselor, “Don’t call EMS and don’t call (Child Protective Services), I’m on my way.” Gutierrez reportedly took her daughter home before seeking medical help.
At the hospital, the youngster tested positive for PCP, aka angel dust, a powerful, and illegal, hallucinogen. According to the affidavit, when questioned by investigators, the she said that the lunchmeat in the sandwich that Gutierrez had made her for that day tasted like “fireworks,” and had made her feel “crazy and dizzy.” The girl apparently recognized the drug from seeing it around the home, and told investigators that it was “angel dust.” She has since been removed from the home. Gutierrez, who has a history of drug-related offenses, was arrested on June 8 and charged with child endangerment, a felony that carries a penalty of up to two years.
In Sweet Springs, Mo., last year, a 6-year-old boy brought his mother’s crack pipe and a baggie of meth to kindergarten for show and tell. In all, police said, about $3,700 worth of drugs was found in the boy’s backpack, and more drugs and paraphernalia were discovered after a search warrant was executed at the home of his mother, Michelle Marie Cheatham, 32. Cheatham was charged with possession of a controlled substance and one count of first-degree child endangerment, and the boy was handed over to relatives. According to Police Chief Richard Downing, the prosecutor was incredulous when told about this case: “When I called the prosecutor about it, they said, ‘You’re kidding me, aren’t you?’”