SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Santa Barbara woman faces multiple felony charges for a DUI crash that injured her 3-year old son. Police arrested Kate Hatrey Walters, 24, after she slammed the car she was driving into a street sign and light pole near State Street and Toyon Drive about 7 p.m. Monday.
Police said Walters and a friend started heavily drinking early in the day then went to dinner at Harry's Plaza Cafe. Walters took her son to the restaurant where she allegedly continued to drink alcohol. Restaurant workers told police Walters and her friend became unruly and restaurant staff eventually told them to leave. Workers at Harry's Cafe called a taxi to pick up the two women and the child. As they waited for the cab to arrive, police said Walters and her friend continued to cause a disturbance outside prompting restaurant staff to call police. However, before officers arrived on scene, Walters and her friend put the child in a car and they allegedly drove away. Witnesses reported that Walters car almost hit two parked cars in the Loreto Plaza parking lot.
Police said Walter drove about two blocks before hitting the street sign and light pole. Police arrived on scene to find the injured 3-year old boy being cradled in the arms of a citizen.
All three people in the car were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Police said Walters refused to submit to a test to determine her blood alcohol content. Officers obtained a search warrant authorizing police to take a sample of Walters blood.
The child suffered numerous injuries including a broken neck. Walters was treated for minor injuries and her friend is being evaluated.
Walters is charged with felony DUI and felony child endangerment with bail set at $100,000
The following is the SBPD press release:
MEDIA RELEASE DUI Collision Results in Severe Injuries to 3-Year Old Child SANTA BARBARA, CA – May 21, 2013 Kate Hatrey Walters, age 24, of Santa Barbara, was arrested for felony DUI and felony child endangerment. While driving drunk Walters crashed into a lamppost severely injuring her 3-year old son. Following her arrest for DUI Walters refused to submit to a chemical test to determine her blood alcohol content. Pursuant to new procedures enacted following the U. S. Supreme Court's ruling in theMissouri v. McNeely case, a search warrant was obtained authorizing the collection of a blood sample from Walters by force, if necessary. On May 20, 2013 at 7:01 p.m., Santa Barbara Police Department Officers Mark Hunt and Bruno Peterson responded to a call of a disturbance in progress involving intoxicated subjects in front of Harry's Plaza Café at 3313 State Street. While the officers were en route they were advised by the SBPD Combined Communications Center that the disturbing parties had driven away from the scene and had become involved in a traffic collision near the intersection of State Street and Broadmoor Plaza. When the officers arrived there they encountered Walters, heavily intoxicated and distraught, seated to the rear of the car she had been driving; Walters's 3-year old son being cradled in the arms of a citizen, bleeding from abrasions to his neck; and firefighters and paramedics struggling to extricate a heavily intoxicated, combative, 21-year old woman from the front passenger seat of the vehicle she owned but had been driven by Walters at the time of the collision. Investigation indicates the following. Walters started drinking heavily earlier in the day. At approximately 5:00 p.m. she went with a friend, in her friend's car, to Harry's Plaza Café, taking her son with her. At the restaurant Walters continued to drink with her friend and both became heavily intoxicated, unruly, and argumentative with restaurant staff. Walters and her friend were told to leave the restaurant and a taxi cab was called by restaurant staff to pick up Walters, her son, and her friend. While waiting for the taxi Walters and her friend continued to cause a disturbance prompting the restaurant staff to call the police. Prior to the arrival of the responding officers Walters and her friend went to the friend's parked car, placed Walters's son in a child seat in the vehicle, and drove away with Walters at the wheel. She nearly collided with two other parked cars in the Loreto Plaza parking lot, prompting another witness to call the police. A restaurant employee took note of the description of the involved vehicle and its license plate number in order to provide that information to the responding officers. After exiting the Loreto Plaza parking lot, where Harry's Plaza Café is located, Walters drove two blocks westbound on State Street until she reached the intersection with Toyon Drive. She struck the curb at the northwest corner of the intersection and drove up onto the sidewalk, striking the State Street / Toyon Drive street sign there and then collided with the lamppost of a city street light. The force of the collision caused the airbags in the vehicle to deploy. Inspection of the vehicle revealed that the child seat utilized by Walters's son had not been properly installed. Walters was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision and her friend was not. Walters, her son, and her friend were all transported to by paramedics to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Emergency Room. Officer Hunt conducted a DUI investigation and arrested Walters for DUI; a felony because the crime resulted in injuries. Additionally, he arrested her child endangerment and notified Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services. Following her arrest Walters refused to submit to a chemical test to determine her blood alcohol content. Officer Hunt obtained a search warrant authorizing the collection of a blood sample from Walters. The blood sample was subsequently obtained by a nurse at the hospital. Walters was treated for minor injuries and medically cleared for Jail booking. At the time this investigation concluded Walters's friend was still undergoing medical evaluation. Walters's 3-year old son sustained multiple injuries from the collision including a broken neck. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment. Walters was booked at Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charges with a bail amount of $100,000.00. Photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.