By Doug Ireland
---- — SALEM — The young child was only trying to help.
But the youngster in the back seat didn't realize that handing the Salem police officer an open bottle of Pinot Grigio wine was only going to get mom in trouble.
“I think this is why mommy is so sleepy," the child said.
And then, according to police, mom's statements didn't help her cause, either. Threatening to kill a police officer and his family is never a good idea.
Now, Gina Suliveras, 39, is in deep trouble. The Windham mother faces several charges following her arrest Tuesday night outside the Workout Club on Pelham Road, according to Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.
First, she tried to drive while drunk — with three children in the vehicle, Patten said. Then, she acted belligerently toward a police officer, telling him she hoped he got shot and died. Then Suliveras, a Lawrence General Hospital registered nurse, said if the officer, his wife or children were ever treated at the hospital, she would kill him and his family, Patten said.
It all started about 7 p.m. when a witness called police to say a drunk woman — later identified as Suliveras — was trying to drive away with three children in her car. Police were told the drunk woman refused to give up her keys.
Her 9-year-old son then grabbed the keys, asking that police not be called because he already telephoned his aunt to pick them up.
Police arrived and stopped Suliveras from driving off. She became upset and fell while getting out of the vehicle. Suliveras also failed a field sobriety test, Patten said.
She was taken into custody and the three children — ages 9, 6, and 4 — were released to a relative at the scene.
Suliveras was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, criminal threatening and violating the open container law. She had trouble keeping her eyes open as police took her mug shot.
Suliveras was released on $500 personal recognizance bail pending her arraignment, Patten said. An arraignment date has not been set, according to a Circuit Court clerk.
The state Division for Children, Youth and Families was contacted, Patten said.
Lawrence General Hospital spokeswoman Vanessa Kortze confirmed that Suliveras worked at the hospital but said she knew little about the incident and declined to comment further.
"We are still evaluating the information as it's coming in," she said.
Suliveras could not be reached for comment at her home yesterday.