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Toddler left in tire shop, mother arrested

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A Fort Defiance woman is facing multiple charges after being found intoxicated as she was trying to get her car repaired.

Naomi Begay, 32, was charged with abandonment or abuse of a child, Aggravated DWI, resisting arrest and possession of an open liquor container in her vehicle.

Gallup police became aware of Begay about 2 pm on Aug. 23 when she stopped at Auto Glass on West Maloney Avenue to get her flat tire fixed. Clerks there told her they didn’t fix tires and referred her to Shaffer Tire nearby.

When she left, personnel at the store called police to report her being intoxicated and having a two year old child in her car.

Gallup Patrolman Jerald Watchman said when he found her at the tire store, she showed signs of being intoxicated. When he tried to talk to her, he said she ignored him. After several minutes, she finally admitted to having had a few drinks.

Throughout the conversation, Watchman said, Begay kept holding her child, using her as leverage so he could not place her in his unit. Watchman said he became concerned that she would lose her balance while holding the child, which she almost did at one point.

She finally sat down in the back of her vehicle still holding her daughter and refused commands to come out even when told that if she did not come out, police would use force. After several minutes, police went on both sides and tried to force her out.

Finally she agreed to come out, telling officers that they didn’t have to be so dramatic. She then resisted attempts to put handcuffs on her and place her in the back of a police unit.

She also refused to respond when she was asked to take a breath alcohol test.