Florida police were surprised when they went to follow up on a complaint about prostitution and drugs at a hotel and were greeted by a young boy.
A manager at the Candlewood Suites tipped off the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about the possible illegal activity in one of its rooms, and when officers arrived they reported hearing a young child’s voice and smelling marijuana, according to the Florida-Times Union.
Police knocked on the door and were greeted by a 4-year-old, who said, “Hi, policeman,” before quickly shutting the door. They then had a manager unlock the door, but it was chained shut.
A man identified as Quentine Crawford appeared at the door, and claimed he didn’t know who the child was. After Crawford relented and opened the door, they discovered the boy in the room with a second man, Matthew Reagan.
That’s when officers said the boy reached down, picked up something from the floor, and put it in his mouth. Police were able to recover it, and it turned out to be a rock of crack cocaine.
Police claim Reagan admitted that he had rented the room as a base for the boy’s mother to use it for prostitution. The boy’s mother was not in the room at the time, and when contacted by police on her cell phone she refused to return to the hotel. The police are currently in the process of obtaining a warrant for the mother’s arrest for child neglect.
Reagan was charged with renting space for prostitution, willfully neglecting a child, possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Crawford was charged with possession of cocaine.
The boy was taken to receive medical attention, where he tested positive for cocaine ingestion. He was placed into foster care protective custody.