Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Law enforcement:

Third arrest made in toddlers’ fall from car

Police report reveals new details in case

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Photos from Metro Police

Vanessa Ramirez and Nancy Lopez are facing charges after three toddlers fell from a vehicle Sunday night in the northeast valley.

Arrest location

In addition to two mothers facing charges after three toddlers fell from a Chrysler PT Cruiser Sunday night in the northeast Las Vegas Valley, a man riding in the car was also arrested, Metro Police said today.

Police discovered three adults and seven children were inside the car when it was stopped at Owens Avenue and Bruce Street.

Officers were called to the area about 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the report of a fight. An officer saw one of the three children fall out of the car as it began to drive south on Bruce Street. Police said the left rear door opened and a child fell out of the blue sedan and rolled across the street, the arrest report said.

A man in the backseat, Antonio Sanchez, told police that the children had been playing inside and had bumped their heads on the window. Sanchez had seven warrants issued outside of Las Vegas, and no further details were available in the arrest report. Sanchez was not related to any of the children in the car.

Sanchez has been booked for seven counts of endangering a child, the arrest report said, after a police officer observed him jump out of the car, scoop the third tot off the pavement and jump back in the car.

Nancy Lopez, the driver, is charged with seven counts of child endangerment, seven counts of having children unrestrained inside the car, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license, having an open container in a vehicle and driving after dark without headlights or brake lights, an arrest report said.

Lopez is the mother of a 3-year-old boy who was treated for a cut above his eye at University Medical Center before he was taken into protective custody at Child Haven, police said.

Vanessa Ramirez, who wasn't inside the car, has been charged with seven counts of child endangerment after her 1-year-old twins fell out of Lopez's car. The twins were in critical condition at University Medical Center, the report said.

Ramirez told police she knew Lopez had been drinking before she put her twins into the car after a fight broke out during a gathering. Ramirez had a third child, who was not injured, in the car and said Lopez was driving them because they didn't have a ride home. She put her children in the car to protect them from the fighting at the party, the report said.

The police report describes the interview an officer did with Lopez:

"When I asked Nancy, 'What happened tonight with your kids?' She replied, 'I have no idea. We were driving around. The door opened up and they fell out. I am going to jail, aren't I?' "

Informed that the injured children were in critical condition, the mother said, "Oh," according to the arrest report. Lopez failed a field sobriety test and steadied herself against the car as she walked over to the curb to sit down, police said. She told police she had consumed three or four beers at the party.

When police searched the PT Cruiser, they found an unopened, cold bottle of Corona beer inside a diaper bag, the report said. An open 12-ounce glass bottle of Corona beer fell out of the car during the search, shattering on the pavement. Investigating officers took photographs, the report said.

Another man inside the car was identified as the grandfather of the children. He suffers from Alzheimer's and had nothing to drink at the party. He was not charged, the report said.

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