02 February 2023- A Hagerstown grandmother is looking at child endangerment charges after police allegedly find her passed out and high on cocaine, benzos, and marijuana with her grandkids running around the parking lot of a Waynesboro Dollar General. Heather Dell is behind bars on $75,000 bail after being charged with two counts of felony child endangerment, misdemeanor child endangerment, and summary public drunkenness.
About 10:30pm on September 7th, Washington Township Police were called out to the Dollar General on Buchanan Trail East for reports of a suspicious female with several children. The callers were employees at the Dollar General who told dispatchers there was a woman banging on doors while they were closing trying to get in, only for them to later find her slumped over in the front seat of her car and kids running around the parking lot. WTPD officers corralled the kids when they arrived, an 8 year old, a 4 year old, and a 10 month old. The children told police the woman slumped over in the front of the car was their Grandmother Heather. Blue Ridge Summit Ambulance squads were called out who had to use a sternum rub on Heather Dell in order to wake her up. After this, the children’s parent was called to the location.
Interviews with the workers and a witness at the scene allegedly showed Dell trying to unlock the doors using her own set of keys initially before banging on the doors. Witnesses said that they could tell Dell was under the influence of drugs and that there were multiple children with her, with some of them soaked by rain. One of the witnesses pulled their car in front of Dell’s because they were concerned Dell might wakeup and try to drive away. Other witnesses allegedly said that Dell came to the door saying she left her groceries and keys inside of the store. Dell then took some groceries and walked across the parking lot, dropping all of them along the way before slumping into the car. Police were then called.
It was found that Dell had an active warrant out from Maryland Probation and Parole, to which she ws brough back for testing. The children’s mother eventually came to pick up the kids, allegedly saying that her mother had previously had a drug problem but all she was on now was prescription medicine. Dell allegedly used cocaine and heroin about 15 years ago.
After transport to Waynesboro Hospital, police found Dell sleeping and still unresponsive. Staff at the hospital had conducted a blood draw and allegedly found cocaine, benzodiazepine, and marijuana in her system in the screening. A later official lab result was sent to officers, with 200ng/ml or higher of Benzodiazepine, 150ng/ml or higher of cocaine, and 50ng/ml or higher of cannabinoid found in her urinalysis. The doctor conducting the tests allegedly said that Dell was on a cocaine crash.
Dell is behind bars on $75,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is set for February 7th.
Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39302-CR-0000295-2022, Incident Number: WTPD2022-07035