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Woman Charged With DUI In Darien After Hitting Pole With Child In Backseat

Darien Police say a Norwalk woman who backed into a light pole with a child in her backseat was driving under the influence.
Darien Police say a Norwalk woman who backed into a light pole with a child in her backseat was driving under the influence. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue, File

DARIEN, Conn. -- A Norwalk woman who tried to leave the scene of an accident in Darien after backing her car into a light pole with a child in the backseat was arrested on drunken driving charges, according to police.

At around 2:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, July 22, police responded to the intersection of Tokeneke Road and Old Farm Road on a report of an accident. Callers told police that a car had hit a light pole and was trying to leave the scene. When officers arrived, they found a Honda CR-V on top of the toppled light pole, according to police.

The officers saw a woman standing outside the car, speaking with a child in the backseat. Police said when they asked her what happened, she said, "Nothing." The officers asked her if she had struck the pole, to which she again replied, "Nothing," according to police.

Officers could detect the odor of alcohol on the breath of the woman, identified as 33-year-old Zaida Gomez-Mendez of Norwalk, police said. Witnesses told police that they had seen the CR-V stopped in the middle of Tokeneke Road with the driver passed out behind the wheel. When they began to tap on the window in an attempt to wake her up, she suddenly woke up and immediately drove her vehicle off the road and into the pole, according to police.

Gomez-Mendez was asked to submit to field sobriety testing, which she failed, according to police. She was taken under arrest and the child was taken to Darien Police headquarters by a second officer.

Gomez-Mendez refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at headquarters, police said. During processing, she admitted to drinking at a friend's house, and told the officers that she made a "big mistake," according to police.

She was charged with operating under the influence, risk of injury to a minor and unsafe backing. She was released on a $250 bond and given a court date of Aug. 1.

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