A suburban Chicago police chief who called a Twin Cities mom "one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States" vented his disappointment that she will get no jail time for her drunken-driving arrest in his city.
Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, of New Hope, pleaded guilty to drunken driving and received two years' probation last week from Circuit Judge Ramon Ocasio. Police in Riverside, Ill., had spotted her passed out in her car at a gas station on April 2 with an open liquor bottle next to her. Police said she had tried to fill her idling vehicle with kerosene instead of gasoline.
Schleicher first gained notoriety when she was arrested last September in Minnesota after veering into a median barrier on Hwy. 52 near Rochester. She had five of her children with her and was breast-feeding her baby when she was found.
She lost custody of her children and was charged in Olmsted County with child endangerment, drunken driving and failing to have a driver's license. That case is still pending.
Schleicher's other scrapes with the law include drunken driving arrests in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, California and Oregon. She also was wanted on three warrants in Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon, court records show.
After her sentencing last week, Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said in a statement, "A sentence of 24 months of probation for Ms. Schleicher is, simply put, disappointing. She's a multiple offender who had multiple driver's licenses, several warrants, and she continuously lied and fabricated information to throw police off when she was arrested."
Weitzel said that when officers questioned Schleicher, she told them she had left some of her children in a nearby motel. "This sent my officers physically searching hotel and motels in neighboring communities for abandoned children," the chief said.
"She was also attempting to fill her car with kerosene at the gas pump, clearly demonstrating her severe intoxication. This continues to demonstrate that as a nation that drunk driving and drugged driving are not treated as serious criminal offenses."