Society

Rachelle Braaten Arrested for Giving Bong Hit to 24-Month-Old Son

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A mother was arrested after police saw a video of her giving her 22-month-old child a hit of marijuana from a bong.

Rachelle Braaten, 24, of Centralia, Wash., was shown in the cell phone footage putting the top of the bong to the boy’s mouth.

She and the boy’s 25-year-old father Tyler J. Lee were arrested Friday. Police also found 40 marijuana plants in their house along with illegal firearms.

When authorities came to her house, she said, “I guess it was a joke and stupid mistake that wasn’t really funny.”

Though she doesn’t think it’s funny now, she was laughing hysterically, with a few other people, in the video clip as her son took a hit and coughed.

She said her son did not experience any ill-effects from it, but that she felt “horrible” for letting him smoke five months ago.

“Because he is two and he shouldn’t have known about that,” Braaten said. “He shouldn’t have that in his body.”

In court documents, prosecutors wrote a description of the video.

When the boy starts coughing, the people in the room start laughing.

“At this point, the other people in the room begin laughing louder and the child looks at the camera taken aback, and the video ends,” they wrote.

On Monday, the mother appeared in court. Prosecutors said she should be held for 72 hours, but she was released yesterday on $20,000 bail.

At first, Braaten denied it was her in the video but she later admitted to it.

She blames the group for pressuring her into giving him the bong.

This isn’t her first run-in with the law. In 2011, she was arrested for assaulting a roommate at 2:20 a.m. at her home.

Tyler Lee, Braaten’s fiance, said he was a medicinal marijuana user.

Child protective services has custody of the boy and has put him into care along with Braaten’s other son, aged 5.

On Monday, the boy’s father was released while authorities decide what charges to file against him.

Braaten was held in jail for one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and one count of manufacture of marijuana. She will be charged on Tuesday.

Lewis County Sirens