Deputies Find Emmet County Man Slumped Over, On Drugs, With Child in Car

An Emmet County man could be charged with child endangerment after he was found slumped over with a child in his car.

Deputies say he was arrested for operating under the influence of drugs with that child in the car.

Police responded to the scene around 3:45 p.m. Thursday at the Gaylord EZ Mart on M-32.

Witnesses tell us the man spent 20 minutes inside this EZ Mart bathroom, when he came outside, got into his car and passed out over the driver’s wheel.

They say the car was running, sitting at the pump and the 18-month-old child was in it.

“I arrived shortly after, conducted and OUID investigation, ultimately leading to the arrest of an Emmet County resident for OUID, child endangerment, as well as child abuse,” Otsego County Deputy Joe Tath, said.

Shocking photos show the driver seemingly unconscious behind the wheel.

Deputies wouldn’t say what drug they believe he was on but do say, it’s something that’s becoming far too common.

“With the opioid epidemic that the whole country is facing and with having two methadone clinics in town, I do see quite a bit of operating under the influence of drugs in Otsego County,” Deputy Tath added.

We went to speak with one of those methadone clinics in Gaylord.

NMSAS helps more than 200 people with opiate addictions.

Executive Director Sue Winter says incidents like this show it’s a disease that affects everyone.

“It does affect those people that care about you and it affects your community, it’s a disease that really has an impact,” Winter said.

She also says there are plenty of resources for parents of young children who want to get better

“We have a number of folks who have dependent aged children. They didn’t choose to have this disease, they may have engaged in behaviors that made them pre-disposed to the disease but seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of,” Winter added.

Deputies tell us the kid who was in the car is doing OK, he is currently in the custody of his grandmother.

The suspect’s name is being withheld until he is charged in court.