Mother accused of leaving 3 children inside vehicle while at local bar

(Courtesy: Wilson County Sheriff's Department)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Dekalb County woman is accused of bringing her three children to a bar and leaving them alone in the parking lot while she was drinking inside a local bar.

Maria Cavalier was found on her phone outside Jimmy’s Bar and Grill on Sparta Pike, according to authorities.

A police report stated that the 31-year-old had red watery eyes, slurred and unorganized speech. She was also described as unsteady on her feet.

Cavalier admitted to having two shots of alcohol in the bar as well as leaving three children, ages 5,6 and 10 months, unattended in her car in the parking lot outside the bar.

A man leaving the establishment noticed the children in the bar parking lot and called police.

He didn’t want to be identified, but told News 2 he saw the mother inside drinking.

“She went out and looked at them, I was leaving, and she was checking on them, and then she went back in,” he said. “It is wrong. You don’t leave a six-year-old in a dark area in a bar parking lot.”

The man said the children were not crying at the time but he still called police because he knew it was wrong.

“I saw a six-year-old in the front seat. An officer told me that someone would have been killed. Either a pedestrian, or someone in another car or them,” he said.

When asked how it felt to help the kids, the man said it felt great.

Cavalier was taken to jail, charged with child neglect and abuse, as well as public intoxication.

Lebanon police said the children were medically cleared and released into the custody of their father.

DCS is now involved in the case and Cavalier is expected in court on November 3.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, in 2005 Cavalier was charged with misdemeanor selling alcohol to a minor.