Valley mother suspected of DUI with young children in vehicle

Kathryn Ermynda Barretto

An Arizona mother is suspected of driving under the influence with her 6-year-old and 1-year-old children in the car.

While officers were conducting traffic control near 35th and Dunlap avenues on January 26 at 7:55 p.m., they closed lanes due to a crash and lit flares. They observed a van heading northbound towards the closed roads and an officer warned the driver with their flashlight to stop.

According to the police report, "The defendant, who was driving the vehicle, gave no indication of listening to the officer. A patrol sergeant approached the driver side of the defendant's vehicle while yelling, attempting to alert the defendant, and the defendant began to turn the vehicle, almost hitting the sergeant."

Police say the female driver, identified as Kathryn Ermynda Barretto, 31, then made a u-turn and began to slowly drive southbound. A short time later, she approached an officer as she exited her vehicle, asked for water and who he was. She walked back to her car and tried to accelerate, but police say the vehicle was still in park and didn't move.

"The officer saw the vehicle was in park and reached into the driver side door and removed the keys from the ignition. The female then became upset and swung a closed fist at the officer, striking him on his left forearm once," stated police in their report.

At that point, police say the officer pulled Barretto out of the vehicle and handcuffed her. She was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle, where officers say she began kicking the doors and causing damage.

Court paperwork states that Barretto "said she was from Peoria and had nothing better to do so she was driving around."

Officers say the 6-year-old was not in a child seat.

Barretto was arrested and booked into the 4th Avenue Jail. She is accused of aggravated assault on an officer, criminal damage, resisting arrest, aggravated DUI with a passenger under 15 and aggravated DUI with a suspended license. Police say she was previously convicted of aggravated DUI in 2016.