A 29-year-old Bradenton woman has been charged with felony child neglect after witnesses told officers they saw her inhaling nitrous oxide, according to Sarasota police.
Officers responded to the intersection of North Tamiami Trail and University Parkway about 9:21 p.m. Friday after someone found Jennifer Ann Lee asleep at the wheel of a car. In the backseat was Lee's 1-year-old son, who also was asleep, according to a news release.
"A passerby noticed Lee asleep and offered to driver her and her son to safety. Lee obliged and the passerby drove the car to the 5100 block of North Tamiami Trail. The passerby called a friend to check on the woman and her child and the friend called police. The friend told dispatchers Lee was 'doing whippets' in front of him." the police report states.
Whippets are small metal cannisters of nitrous oxide used in refillable whipped cream canisters. Users inhale them to get high.
"When officers arrived, they observed from outside the car, several small canisters by Lee’s feet. When Lee got out of the car to speak with officers, an additional 'whippet' was located in the seat she was sitting in," the report states.
Police said they recovered about 20 whippet canisters from the car.
Police said Lee admitted to falling asleep at the intersection of University Parkway and North Tamiami Trail, telling officers: "I was tired and it happens," the report states.
As officers were reading Lee her Miranda rights, "she was highly uncooperative and unleashed a verbal attack on all officers present," police said.
Lee was charged with felony child neglect. She was released from the Sarasota County jail after posting $2,000 bond.