KPD: Pregnant woman goes into labor at Walmart after reported drug use
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Police responded to Wal-mart Sunday morning after shoppers told store managers about a pregnant woman using drugs in her parked car.
Kennewick Police Officer Roman Trujillo said when officers first got to the store, 39-year-old Tiffany Thompson appeared to be asleep or unconscious in her car, and they feared the worst.
"One of the officers remarked that he was concerned this was an overdose,” Trujillo said.
When police first woke Thompson she told them her water had broke and she was going to have a baby.
"Apparently there was evidence her water had broken," Trujillo explained. "Just after she arrived at the Walmart."
Police report seeing evidence of drugs in the car, but when they ordered her to get out she refused.
They said Thompson told them she knew there were warrants for her arrest, but she had documentation showing she couldn’t be taken into custody.
Officer Trujillo told Action News under normal circumstances, suspects resisting arrest are put in hand-cuffs for everybody's safety, but Thompson's pending childbirth complicated things.
"Every time we take someone into custody we're not only thinking about what might happen to ourselves, but we want to do that task safely for the person we're arresting,” said Trujillo.
He said as the situation escalated, officers decided to get Thompson somewhere safe, and an ambulance took her to the Trios Women and Children’s Hospital.
Trujillo said one of the officers called a judge to re-set Thompson's arrest warrants, and she was out of cuffs before she met her doctors.
He said they told the medical staff what was going on, but left her in their care.
Trujillo said the whole encounter was unique, and it's the first time he’s seen anything like it.
But he clarified saying Thompson isn’t completely off the hook.
"In these types of cases,” he explained. “We notify Child Protective Services (CPS), [though] I hope that they're doing very well."
KPD said Thompson is a free woman tonight but they’ve impounded her car and are waiting for a warrant; they’ve also reported the incident to CPS.
Trios Medical Center told Action News Thompson and her baby are listed in fair condition.