Woman allegedly told witness to ‘deal with’ choking 1-year-old before passing out at Florida restaurant

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DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) – A 27-year-old woman faces a felony child neglect charge after she passed out on the deck of a northwest Florida restaurant with a 1-year-old child in her care Monday afternoon.

Okaloosa County deputies who responded to the Margaritaville in Destin tried several times to wake Ariel Yvonne Hope before she finally came to enough to respond to their questions, according to the arrest report. When asked where she and the child were, Hope said “Miramar,” the report states. Court records show Hope’s home address is in Miramar, a city located hundreds of miles southeast of Destin, near Miami.

Deputies said that Hope “appeared to be heavily intoxicated to the point she was unable to take of herself,” according to the report, “let alone a one-year-old infant.”

Hope was allegedly unable to stand without deputies’ help or “rationally answer questions.”

A witness said she served Hope four vodka shots and gave her a cherry for the infant. After Hope gave the child the cherry, the child began to choke, and, according to the witness, Hope turned to her and told her to “F****** deal with it.”

The witness told deputies Hope, who was still holding the child, then fell to the deck.

The witness said she took the child from Hope and held him until deputies arrived at the restaurant. The child was “dressed in a single layer outfit” despite the temperature being roughly 60 degrees with a “cold wind,” according to deputies.

Hope now faces a felony charge of neglect of a child without great bodily harm and was held Tuesday at Okaloosa County Jail on a $2,000 bond, court records show.

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