PD: Phoenix mom arrested for giving child beer in sippy cup

Posted at 2:36 PM, Jul 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-06 14:36:10-04

By Steven Leslie and Breann Bierman

Phoenix, AZ (KPHO) — A Phoenix woman was arrested and could face a charge of child abuse after police said she put beer into her 2-year-old son’s sippy cup at a pizza restaurant.

Valerie M. Topete, 36, is facing one count of child abuse after a witness called police and told them she saw Topete pour beer from a pitcher into the infant’s cup and place it in front of the child on Tuesday in the 4900 block of East Ray Road.

The witness told police the child later fell from his seat, leading her to believe the boy was intoxicated.

Topete told police her son had been grasping for the pitcher and that she had put a “splash of beer” into her son’s cup that contained apple juice, according to police. She told them it was “reverse psychology” to stop him from grabbing at the pitcher. The mother initially told officers the child did not drink from the cup, but later said the child may have drank the beer.

Officers said the cup had about 4 ounces of liquid with foam on the surface and a distinct odor of alcohol.

The boy was taken to Chandler Hospital as a precaution.

Child Protective Service was called to the hospital. Police said the father of the child, and the boy’s two siblings, ages 4 and 8, who had also been at the restaurant, arrived at the hospital and the children were turned over to him.