HOUSTON, Minn. (WCCO) – A Roseau couple have been charged with child endangerment after leaving their seven-year-old child with disabilities in an unattended van for over an hour as they drank at a bar.
Thirty-seven-year old Clayton Paul Ahlbeck and 36-year-old Tammy Ellen Ahlbeck sat in JT’s Corner Bar in Houston Saturday night while their child sat in his wheelchair inside of their running van which was parked behind the bar.
Houston Police were notified, and arrived at the bar at 11:51 p.m. to find the white van, which witnesses say the child was in unattended for at least 25 minutes. Officers say the child was sleeping, and the van’s doors were locked.
After police waited by the van for ten minutes, Tammy Ahlbeck came out of the bar and approached them. She told officers that there was “no way” that it had been that long, and she refused to give her name until her husband came out. She said her husband, Clayton Ahlbeck, was the sober driver for the evening.
Police then went into the bar to find Clayton, who informed them that he was not the sober driver because he had been drinking. Mr. Ahlbeck registered a blood alcohol level of .276, while Mrs. Ahlbeck registered at .140.
Mr. Ahlbeck told police he had arrived at the bar at 1 p.m. after a funeral, and he added that his child had been in the van for 30 minutes. However, the initial witnesses claimed it had been more like an hour.
The couple’s other two children, ages five and 11, where also in the bar. Mrs. Ahlbeck later admitted to authorities that it was a mistake to leave her child unattended for so long.
Both parents were each charged with two counts of child neglect or endangerment. If convicted, they could both face up to two years in jail.