Woman found passed out behind wheel of Cadillac with 2-year-old in car

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on a child neglect charge after she was found passed out behind the wheel of car at a South Florida intersection with an open bottle of vodka in the front passenger’s seat and a 2-year-old child in the backseat, deputies said.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Northwest 33rd Avenue and Commercial Boulevard in Oakland Park on Sunday after a concerned citizen spotted a woman, later identified as Jennifer Hernandez, asleep in the driver’s seat of a Cadillac that was stopped at the intersection.

The concerned citizen tried to wake Hernandez by banging on the window, but she was unsuccessful. Oakland Park paramedics arrived and successfully woke Hernandez.

Hernandez told paramedics that she hadn’t slept in the past 24 hours because she had worked from 9 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday. Hernandez said she has prescriptions for Xanax, mirtazapine and painkillers from a recent surgery.

When deputies questioned Hernandez, her eyes appeared “watery and bloodshot, her speech was slurred and she had a slight odor of alcoholic beverages” on her breath, according to an arrest report.

Deputies said there was a bottle of vodka in the front passenger’s seat that was only about two-thirds full.

Hernandez claimed that she picked up the toddler about noon without having slept to go to a birthday party.

Deputy Richard Klima wrote in his report that Hernandez placed herself and the child “at risk for serious bodily harm by operating a motor vehicle in such a sleep-deprived state.”

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Broward County employee trapped in courtroom holding cell for hours

A Broward County employee spent hours trapped inside an inmate holding cell at the new courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale last week after she mistakenly opened the wrong door and couldn’t get out.

Deborah Johnson, 61, was conducting an after-hours quarterly inspection of a fifth-floor courtroom last Wednesday when she mistakenly entered the holding cell through the wrong door and didn’t have the necessary access code to open the door to get out, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Johnson tried to call her daughter for help, but she wasn’t able to get any cellphone service in the room, the report said.

She wasn’t found until nearly seven hours later, after Johnson’s daughter received a strange text message from her mother.

“She’s trapped in the courthouse,” Johnson’s daughter told a 911 dispatcher.

According to the report, while Johnson was trapped in the holding cell, she heard someone, believed to be a member of the cleaning crew, inside the courtroom and asked for help through the locked door. That help never came.

Eventually, Johnson was able to get a cellphone signal and sent the odd message to her daughter.

“It says, ‘Help me trapped fifth-floor courtroom 5170, call 911,'” Johnson’s daughter told the dispatcher.

When the BSO deputy finally opened the door to the holding cell, Johnson “appeared to be OK but shaken,” the report said. The deputy escorted Johnson to her office to get her belongings and then outside, where Johnson’s daughter was waiting for her.

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Man arrested in Southwest Ranches purse-snatching

A 19-year-old man has been arrested after smashing the window of a vehicle and stealing a 64-year-old woman’s purse, Davie police Capt. Dale Engle said.

Robert K. Flagg Jr., who made his first court appearance Sunday, was arrested after an extensive investigation and with the assistance of Miami-Dade police, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Police believe Flagg took Patricia Coxe’s purse on June 2 while she was pumping has at a Shell gas station off Sheridan Street and Dykes Road.

Coxe attempted to chase after Flagg, police said, and at one point grabbed the purse through a window.

The driver didn’t stop, police said, and  dragged Coxe through the parking lot.

Coxe suffered deep bruises to her arms. 

The driver of the vehicle used in the robbery remains at large. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 

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