Four young children have been put into the care of their grandmother after their mum left them in her unlocked car so she could go drinking.
Maria Cepparo left her twin girls of six, her autistic 13-year-old son, and another son of eight, in the car while she went into a bar.
She was arrested after the bar manager at Momo's Sports Bar and Grill in Long Island wondered why she was going in and out with orders of French fries between drinking with an unidentified man.
He followed her outside and discovered the four children in the Ford Focus, which was parked in a fire zone outside the pub.
'They had ordered a side order of French fries to go, walked them outside to their car, and about a half hour later, they did it again,' the unnamed bar manager told his local CBS news station.
Ms Cepparo was charged with suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child after the manager called the police.
Ms Cepparo was arrested shortly after midnight and charged with suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child. She was released by Suffolk County police on Sunday and did not comment as she left, but a friend with her said that the media were 'terrorizing' her for making 'a mistake'.