Woman leads police on high-speed chase with toddler in back seat


OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City mother is arrested following a high speed chase.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect tried to elude police while allegedly high on heroin with a 1-year-old child in the backseat.

The 27-year-old suspect, Tonya Chatham, was arrested for several criminal charges including drug possession, eluding police and child endangerment.

It all started on a small side street west of downtown.

That’s where sheriff’s deputy noticed a car parked in the middle of the road in broad daylight with a female driver behind the wheel.

“She refused to roll down her window and took off at a high rate of speed,” Oklahoma County sheriff’s spokesman Mark Myers said.

Tearing off from the scene, the suspect allegedly threw a hypodermic needle containing heroin from the car.

The driver then got on I-40 with speeds reaching 115 mph.

“The car was driving in a very reckless fashion,” Myers said.

Eventually the driver stopped along Scott Rd.

That’s when officers noticed a small toddler in the back seat.

“Unfortunately deputies had no idea the child was in the back seat until the pursuit stopped,” Myers said. “We’re very fortunate the child was not injured.”

Myers said the suspect admitted the chase started because officers caught her getting high.

“She said when this started because she was injecting heroin and that’s why she decided to take off,” Myers said. “She really had no regard for anyone’s safety, not even her own child.”

The suspect has bonded out of the Oklahoma county jail.

The DHS was called in to help take the child into protective custody.