Crime

State College woman charged after Chick-fil-A employees smelled pot at the drive-thru, police say

Chick-fil-A employees are known for going out of their way to help customers, but they are also willing to call the police if the situation necessitates it.

Employees at the chain’s Patton Township location called police earlier this month after they suspected Chelsea Vacich, 27, was under the influence of marijuana. They told police her Chevrolet Cruze smelled of marijuana as she went through the drive-thru, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed Thursday by Patton Township police.

An officer spoke with Vacich, of State College, in the parking lot and found a 2-year-old in the sedan without a child safety seat. Vacich said she picked the child up from Park Forest Methodist Church day care and was waiting for a seat to be brought to her, police wrote.

She denied smoking or smelling marijuana, and said some friends smoked pot in the vehicle the previous evening. Police found a vape pen with THC oil, a glass jar with marijuana flakes and an empty glasses case that smelled like marijuana, police wrote.

Vacich failed sobriety tests and later admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day. A test completed at Mount Nittany Medical Center found marijuana in her system, police wrote.

An attorney for Vacich was not listed on a court document. In a message, Vacich said there was not a child in danger and that she would never operate her vehicle impaired.

Vacich was charged with one felony count of endangering the welfare of a child, three misdemeanor counts of DUI, one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one summary traffic citation.

She was arraigned by District Judge Casey McClain, who released her on $7,500 unsecured bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.
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