Two guys in a Mustang convertible pulled into a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru at about 5 am Saturday morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but before they could order their food, the burger joint’s manager called police and the two men, both in their late 20s, ended up under arrest, eating their breakfast not at Jack-in-the-Box but courtesy of Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
Why did the manager call the cops? It had something to do with the AR-15 assault rifle lying across the lap of the Mustang’s driver, 28-year-old Mark Richard Cropper (pictured above, left).
But that’s not the reason the two guys were busted. No, that had more to do with the other alarming thing the Jack-in-the-Box manager saw in the car. Sitting on the lap of passenger Colin Decker, 27, was an infant. No car seat. And the baby was wearing nothing but a t-shirt that was too small for him, and a diaper that police officers who quickly showed up at the Montgomery Boulevard burger joint described as “extremely soiled.”
Police found three more guns in the Mustang, including a black handgun underneath the passenger seat occupied by Decker and the baby, who turned out to the his own eight-month-old son, Cayden.
When police asked Decker about the last time little Cayden had been fed, the young dad said he couldn’t remember.
“Hollywood couldn’t come up with this story,” said Albuquerque Police spokesperson Simon Drobik. “What it really comes down to is the safety of the child.”
According to the cops, Decker and Cropper reeked of booze and became verbally combative with the Albuquerque police officers who ultimately took them into custody.
Why they brought four guns to order food from a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru at five o’clock in the morning remains a mystery, police said. One of the men refused to give police his address.
But the two guys are apparently not master criminals. A check of state records run by The Albuquerque Journal newspaper turned up nothing significant in either man’s police record. Apparently, they were just two dudes out to grab a bite with a carload of guns and a baby.
Both men were arrested on charges of child endangerment. They are being held on $15,000 bond at the Metropolitan lock-up.
As for Cayden Decker, the child was turned over to New Mexico’s Children, Youth, and Families Department. But not before the officers at the scene all kicked in some cash and bought the baby clean diapers, comfortable clothes, and some infant formula.
“They’re all parents,” said Drobik of the responding Albuquerque Police Officers. “The parental instincts kicked in.”