Woman accused of leaving young son outside bar while she had a drink

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Aug. 26, 2014, 6:25 p.m. MDT

 A woman who police say left her 5-year-old son unattended outside a club while she went in to have a drink was charged Tuesday.

A woman who police say left her 5-year-old son unattended outside a club while she went in to have a drink was charged Tuesday.


MURRAY — A woman who police say left her 5-year-old son unattended outside a club while she went in to have a drink faces charges Tuesday.

Barbara Jeanette Orchard, 29, was charged in 3rd District Court with child abuse, a class A misdemeanor; escape, a third-degree felony; assault on a police officer, a class A misdemeanor; and interfering with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor.

On Aug. 21, Murray police were called to the Highlander Club, 6194 S. Highland Drive, to check on a small child standing alone outside the club, according to charging documents. When officers questioned the boy, he said he "was waiting outside of the bar while his mom had a drink and he could not go inside," court records state.

The bartender told investigators that Orchard entered the bar about 9:15 p.m., ordered one beer and one shot, "downed 'em," paid and left, according to the charges. The time on her receipt was 9:32 p.m.

Another club patron told officers she talked to the boy before entering the club.

"The child told her that his mom went inside for a drink. When she asked him how long she had been inside, the child responded, 'She said it would be a minute, but it had been forever,'" according to court records.

Orchard was placed under arrest, handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. As this was happening, Orchard's mother showed up and police talked to her. When they were done, the officer returned to his patrol car to see if Orchard wanted to say anything else, according to court documents. She declined. But as the officer was attempting to close the door, Orchard — who had moved her cuffed hands from her back to her front — jumped out of the vehicle, the charges state.

She pushed against the officer trying to escape, according to the charges. Several officers restrained Orchard on the ground and placed her back into custody.

On Monday, Orchard was convicted of providing false information to law enforcement in another case in Murray Justice Court, a class B misdemeanor, and sentenced to 12 days in jail, according to court records. In 2013 she took a plea in abeyance to interfering with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor, and in 2012 she was convicted of attempted burglary, according to court records.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

1. byronbca
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

I'm trying to figure out what exactly was illegal here. Is it illegal to leave your child unattended for a few minutes or be slightly intoxicated while around your child? I think what the accused did was irresponsible and sketchy at best but was it really child abuse? Would it be child abuse to leave a child in a public place for 5 to 10 minutes while the parent uses the rest room?

If leaving a child unattended for 10 minutes is child abuse then I think we would have to charge just about every parent with child abuse. If there are any parents out there who have never left a child unattended for more than 10 minutes please feel free to put me in my place.

I see this as a case of an over zealous cop and a mother freaking out because she's worried the state might try and take her child away.

2. John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

How many incidents like this must occur before society at large acknowledges that alcohol is a pernicious evil which destroys families? Indeed, this woman is fortunate that her child was not killed or molested while she was drinking herself silly.

No serious person can deny that Western Civilization has truly reached its lowest point in several millennia. In a time when the ignorant masses consider drinking beer to be high culture, there is great reason for concern. Essentially, the great croc-wearing hordes are dragging society into depravity. Our society is rapidly approaching a new Dark Age. This process will soon reach the stage of being irreversible unless we act fast to protect what little refinement still exists in society.

We can no longer allow parents who neglect children in order to drink to maintain custody of children. The children must be removed until the parents give up alcohol.

3. estudiante
Lindon, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

Why not take the kid into the bar? Back in the 60s, my Dad did that with me. I was four, five, six. I saw a lot of bars.

4. Million
Bluffdale, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

I was left alone in the car in the middle of summer when I was five a lot of the time. Of course in those days we rolled down the windows by hand. My dad would be driving along and say, "My, I am getting dry." and then would pull over and stop for a couple of beers at a bar. I would be out in the car playing with one of those puzzles where you move the little squares or I would read a book. My dad would come out and bring me a bag of sunflower seeds once in awhile. This was all okay because my dad was a doctor and doctors always know what's best.

5. Kristy
Puyallup, WA,
Aug. 27, 2014

byronbca - I can hardly believe there truly are adults out there with attitudes like the ones you expressed! What this woman did was endanger the life of a child & yes, it is child abuse! It only takes seconds for harm in today's society to come to an unattended child. I raised 6 children & I can say I never left them alone for even minutes in harms way. You don't risk the lives of your greatest treasures by leaving them alone, in front of a bar, no less. Several weeks ago, in WA. State a little 5 year old girl was found murdered (by a 17 year old boy)several weeks ago because her parents had this same mentality. They put her to bed Saturday night & when she wasn't in the house the next morning when they awoke, they assumed she was outside playing around the neighborhood like she usually did. They didn't bother to check on her until 6:00 that evening because because they figured it was safe in their neighborhood!