Boca Raton, FL - A female passenger in a vehicle on a traffic stop, Christine Maier, threw hypodermic needles in the back seat, within arm's reach of a toddler. Her reason? She panicked when she saw police officers.
According to WSB TV, the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon at the Marathon gas station on Glades Road just east of Town Center at Boca Raton. A Boca Raton Police Officer noticed a Jeep parked in a handicapped parking space, with a male driver and a female passenger.
A vehicle pulled in next to the Jeep, and the female passenger, later identified as Maier, got out of the Jeep. She walked over to the other vehicle, and a man handed her a plastic baggie in what appeared to be a drug transaction. She then got back in the Jeep and they left.
A Boca Raton Officer conducted a traffic stop on the Jeep after he observed that a brake light was out, and that it did not stop at a stop sign. As he pulled the vehicle over, he noticed Maier making movements with her head and hands.
When the officer walked up to the car, he noticed a toddler in the back seat of the Jeep with a fresh cut on his face. The toddler was not in a car seat. He took the driver's information, told both occupants what he had observed at the gas station, and asked for a consent search of the vehicle.
The male driver gave consent to the search. The officer found three hypodermic needles in the back seat within the toddler's reach. A sunglass case was found where Maier had been sitting which contained two more needles and 'a white, crystal-like residue.' One of the needles had a metal screw in it instead of a plastic plunger.
The officer read both the driver and Christine Maier their rights. Maier said that she was getting the needles for a friend so he could inject methamphetamine. When the officer asked Maier about the cut on the toddler's face, she said he fell the previous day and totally not because she threw a needle at his face.
She later said that throwing the needles in the back seat was from panic and was a mistake.
The driver denied any knowledge of the needles or the residue, and told the officer he had just gotten out of jail. He said that he just drove Maier around because it had been a long time since he had been with a girl.
Maier was arrested on charges of Child Neglect and Possession of Drug Equipment. She remains in the Palm Beach County Jail under $3,000 bond. It is not known what relationship Maier had to the toddler, although she is believed to be his mother. The child is in custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Christine Maier certainly isn't going to win mother of the year. She is in jail where she belongs. And that innocent child is safe for the moment.