Court docs: Bloomington mother drove drunk with kids in car, charged with neglect and battery


Maria Salas-Diaz

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A Bloomington mother drove drunk with her children in her car before returning home to batter her teen daughter and a grandfather, police say.

Police were called to an apartment on Friday around 9:45 p.m. in response to a “domestic situation.” According to court documents, a man named Norbert Mattingly told police that 33-year-old Maria Salas-Diaz had arrived home earlier in the evening and was clearly intoxicated. He couldn’t find two of his grandchildren; she later said they were with her and had left the home.

She came back home around 9:30 p.m. with the two children after going to Walmart. She was still drunk when she came back home, Mattingly told investigators.

Police spoke to Salas-Diaz’s teen daughter, who said her mother was intoxicated when she came back home and told her to put away the groceries and do the dishes. The daughter complied. The girl noticed a mark on her younger brother’s face; Salas-Diaz accused the girl of doing it. The teen said she didn’t and took the boy to the bathroom to wash it off.

Salas-Diaz followed her and yelled at her; in order to stop the altercation, the girl closed and locked the bathroom door. When she came out, she said her mother assaulted her, grabbing her by the hair and placing a hand around the front of her throat. She said her mother then forced her to the ground.

At this point, the girl’s grandfather, Mattingly, tried to intervene. The girl said her mother punched Mattingly.

Salas-Diaz told police she grabbed her daughter and pushed Mattingly back because he was trying to get involved. She told police she had two beers around 6 p.m.; police said she “did appear to be impaired and there was a strong odor or alcohol” coming from her breath. Investigators described her eyes as “red and watery.”

Police interviewed the younger children, who told them they went to Walmart with their mother; after that, they said they went to “the place that sells the bad drinks” (a liquor store), court documents said. The children waited in the vehicle while their mother went to the liquor store and returned with a bottle wrapped in a brown bag. She then started drinking from the bottle while driving the children around, court documents said.

When asked how their mother’s driving was, one of the children “stated that her mother did not wreck.”

Salas-Diaz admitted she’d been drinking and left the children inside the vehicle. However, she denied drinking and driving. She also said she’d left a bottle of alcohol under the driver’s seat.

A portable breath test at the Monroe County Jail showed her blood alcohol concentration was .15, court documents said. Salas-Diaz was arrested on preliminary charges of battery and neglect.

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