Crystal Leija, a 32-year-old Port Richey woman was jailed Saturday after she allegedly became intoxicated, crashed into a family’s home and then offered to search for the couple’s children for $1,000.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, three adults and four children were asleep in their home around 2:00 a.m. when they were awakened by what sounded like an explosion. When they ran towards the sound, they were shocked by to see their house in shambles, and taillights glowing through a haze of smoke.
Investigators say Leija had driven her 1998 Honda Accord completely through the home, destroying a front hall, the living room, the dining room, and a bedroom where two small children, ages 4 and 10, were sleeping. The home-owner’s brother-in-law was sleeping in the living room on an air mattress. He escaped with cuts and scratches on his face and arms from flying debris.
Leija then stumbled out of the car intoxicated. When she realized that the parents could not find two young children who were sleeping in the bedroom, she offered to help find them the children for $1,000.
The victims told Leija to get back into the car and stay put until police arrived. The children were later found amidst the debris, terrified but relatively unharmed. No serious injuries were reported.
Leija also reportedly hit a parked car as she was leaving the Lane Glo bowling alley, where the incident began. She then ran over two fences and two mailboxes before crashing into the home.
Leija was booked into the Pasco County Jail on charges of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury, DUI causing personal injury, DUI causing damage to property or person, and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage. She is being held in lieu of $6,150 bail.