|Updated: 4/15/2013 9:19 am
||Published: 4/13/2013 7:37 pm
The mother of two toddlers is behind bars after her children were found wandering around the neighborhood.
Tahlequah police say they found 27-year-old Lacey Van Dolah passed out and drunk.
Van Dolah’s 15-month-old son was found on her neighbor’s doorstep banging on the door Monday, a day before police were called to the home.
"I heard some crying," said James Hardin.
He says the toddler was shaken and scared.
"I saw a toddler barely older than my own son,” Hardin said. “Dirty, crying, full diaper.”
He told FOX23’s Dontaye Carter, he walked around this apartment complex looking for the child's home. When he found it, Hardin said he kept knocking until Van Dolah finally came to the door.
"I told the neighbors keep an eye out for these kids if this happens again we have to call someone," said Hardin.
It happened again on Tuesday. Both toddlers were outside playing in the street when police were called.
When they arrived, they say Van Dolah was groggy and drunk. According to the police report, officers found three empty beer bottles sitting on the window sill, three more empty beer boxes on the kitchen floor and several empty beer bottles in a trash can.
Another neighbor who did not want to be identified said she tried waking up the children’s mother on Tuesday before police arrived.
"I was scared she overdosed," said the woman. "Her stepfather tried to get her awake. Her mother tried to get her awake. I tried to get her awake."
When Van Dolah woke up, police say she admitted drinking beer while taking her medication.
Police say she had been taking Flexeril, a muscle relaxer, and Clonazepam, used as a sedative to relieve anxiety.
She told police she always took her medication with beer and had taken ten pills earlier that day. Van Dolah told officers she needed to take eight to ten pills for it to work.
"Her mother said she would call an ambulance but she would be pissed with me," said the neighbor.
The neighbor told FOX23, Van Dolah is a good mother who just struggled to leave alcohol alone.
Hardin is just glad he was home to answer the knock.
"It's far better for a kid to stay with their parents than be lost in the system,” he said. “I hope she can pull it together for these kids because they need a mother."
Van Dolah is still in jail charged with two counts of child endangerment. Court records show she was charged with public intoxication last December. She pleaded no contest.