PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 28-year-old woman was arrested after she allegedly left her 2 young children in the bathroom of a public park while she went to get a tattoo.
A family using the bathroom found the children, ages 3 and 8, hiding in the bathroom at Harleman Park in Cornelius around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said. The family called deputies immediately.
The manager of the tattoo shop said when Ana Lisa Lara first came in with her two kids, things seemed normal.
“After the artist asked her if she had anywhere to take her kids, she said that she was going to take them to her mother’s 3 blocks away,” Angela Mooney told KOIN 6 News.
Mooney said Lara returned about an hour later to get her tattoo, this time without the kids. Then she got a phone call.
“It was her kids and she said that they wanted be picked up already and it just seemed like maybe there were not having fun at Grandma’s. So we didn’t think much of it you know, it didn’t seem like there was any danger or reason for her to stop that tattoo,” Mooney told KOIN 6 News.
Mooney said while Lara was getting her tattoo, there was a heavy downpour and she believes the children went into the bathroom to get out of the rain.
Around 6 p.m., Lara came back to the park to pick up her children and was arrested. Investigators believe she left the kids alone for at least an hour while she got the tattoo.
She is now charged with 2 counts each of 1st-degree criminal mistreatment, reckless endangerment and 2nd-degree child neglect. Lara made bail but is expected in court later this month.
“We were really glad to hear that nothing bad happened because that definitely could have been a much worse scenario,” Mooney said.
The children are being cared for by another family member.