Drunken woman leads deputies on pursuit with a toddler on her lap, sheriff’s office alleges


A 27-year-old Fresno woman is accused of driving under the influence with her niece on her lap while on a pursuit early Saturday morning, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Raquel Gonzalez, 27, was arrested around 2 a.m. after deputies attempted to stop her on suspicion of a DUI at Highway 99 and Highway 180. She refused to pullover, deputies say, and that’s when the pursuit began, reaching speeds of 70 mph.

Gonzalez got off the Highway 180 Chestnut Avenue off-ramp and drove to a home in the 4700 block of East Thomas Avenue.

Gonzalez got out of her car holding a three-year-old girl, who deputies say is her niece. She was detained, and a California Highway Patrol officer gave her a sobriety test, which she reportedly failed.

She was arrested.

While searching the Gonzalez’ car, a child safety seat was not found. Child Protective Services (CPS) took custody of the child.

“It’s pretty crazy. You got to be some kind of fool to run from the cops while you’re drunk and on top of that, you got a child sitting on your lap,” says Tony Botti, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

Anyone with additional information about this case or the suspect is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 559-600-3111, Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867 or www.valleycrimestoppers.org.

She faces felony charges of child endangerment, evading police and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence (DUI).

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