July 8 at 6:31 PM
The woman who abandoned a child in a stroller on a busy D.C. street on Tuesday was high on synthetic marijuana at the time, D.C. police said.

In a court document, police said that Latonya Cooper, 24, left a 10-month-old baby in a stroller in front of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on E Street NW.

A spokeswoman for the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency initially said that the child was 2 or 3 years old.

A woman saw the baby sitting unattended in the stroller for at least 10 minutes and flagged down a nearby U.S. marshal, according to the court document. The marshal started looking for anyone who might be related to the baby and found a man who said he had seen a woman in orange pants leave the stroller and then stagger down the street.

The marshal asked other marshals to stay with the baby while he went to talk to the woman in orange pants. He found Cooper leaning against a wall two blocks from where she had left the stroller, the document said.

The court document said that the marshal asked Cooper where the baby was, and she said, “Right here in the stroller,” although the stroller was two blocks away.

Cooper’s speech was slurred, and she seemed confused. When a second marshal patted her down and found a smoked blunt, she said the blunt belonged to someone else and that she had taken no drugs but her psychiatric medication, the document said.

D.C. police then arrested Cooper and claimed in the court document that she had smoked K2, a synthetic drug, after leaving the baby unattended.

Officer Paul Metcalf, a D.C. police spokesman, said he could not say how police determined that Cooper had smoked the blunt.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that the District would crack down on stores that sell synthetic drugs, after a wave of overdoses.

Metcalf did not know Cooper’s relationship to the baby. She was charged with second-degree cruelty to a child.