Deputies: Grandmother said she had nothing else on hand to soothe baby
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Citizen tips of a video shared on social media showing a baby teething on a plastic bag of marijuana led to two arrests — one the girl’s grandmother, who said she had nothing else on hand to soothe the teething baby, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said Wednesday.
A deputy received information Tuesday from concerned citizens about a video posted on Snapchat, Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said. Deputies found the video, allegedly posted by Ethan Burgess, 18, of Bend, and identified all of the people shown in it.
Vander Kamp said the 30-second video shows a 4-month-old girl sitting in Burgess’s lap while she is playing with and chewing on a large plastic bag containing marijuana as several adults watched.
The video, allegedly taken at a home in the 60000 block of Navajo Road in Deschutes River Woods, pans across the room and shows the baby’s grandmother, Raechel Gilland, 37, also of Bend, watching as the baby puts the marijuana bag in her mouth, Vander Kamp said.
An investigation “determined that Gilland gave her granddaughter the bag of marijuana because the baby was teething and (she) did not have anything else to soothe the baby,” Vander Kamp said in a news release.
Burgess recorded the scene and posted it to his social media account, where it was seen and shared, the sergeant said.
Gilland and Burgess both were cited in lieu of custody on charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and recklessly endangering another person.
Vander Kamp said they were cited due to the county jail’s COVD-19 restrictions, designed to protect jail staff and inmates. However, he added, “A citation in lieu of custody is still an arrest and does not discount the seriousness of the alleged crimes.”
Oregon DHS Child Protective Services assisted at the scene and assumed care of the baby and her 2-year-old sibling, Vander Kamp said.
“The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office encourages adults to keep cannabis, cannabis products and packaging from way children,” Vander Kamp wrote. “Although Oregon adults can now legally use marijuana, the Oregon Health Authority reports marijuana and its packaging have many chemicals that may negatively affect developing fetuses, babies and young children.”