A Florida couple was found passed out in their car, with their two kids, aged 2–years-old and 2-months-old, in the back seat, the Miami Herald is reporting.
According to Miami police, Carlos A. Roboyras-Rodrigues, 35, and Catherine Lobb, 26, were unresponsive. The car engine was still running, and the children were soiled and looked hungry.
Lieutenant Freddie Cruz said the car was impeding traffic in a busy traffic lane and that the adults inside were “passed out as if they were at home sleeping.” He added that the children looked like they had not taken a bath for days. Both kids have been placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Rodrigues claimed he was headed to work when he fell asleep at the wheel. The couple were taken in for questioning, tested for alcohol, and subsequently charged.
Police charged Rodrigues with child neglect and driving with a suspended license. Meanwhile, Hobb was charged with child neglect and allowing an unauthorized person drive her vehicle. A record check revealed that Rodrigues had four suspensions on his car license.
According to a police report, the firefighters banged on the windows of the Hyundai Sonata at around 9 a.m. to wake up the couple, opened the door of the vehicle, and discovered the car was still in gear with the engine still running. At the time, the toddler and infant were in the backseat.
When Rodrigues exited the vehicle, he was “unsteady on his feet and disoriented.” The police report said the couple looked confused regarding their whereabouts and had bloodshot eyes and narrowed pupils.
Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll said investigators were not sure if the couple had suffered a drug overdose because the medical results were not in yet.
“It’s kind of difficult to determine what causes a person to go unconscious until he’s been evaluated at a medical facility.”
This is not the first time that a couple would be jeopardizing the safety of young children. In September, police arrested a pregnant woman and two men for using heroin with a toddler in the vehicle.
The arresting officers said Robert Vincent Bonaiuto Jr., who was driving a black Ford Expedition, pulled up at the side of a building and was snorting heroin through a straw with the two adults and a 3-year-old girl in the backseat. When police told Bonaiuto to exit the vehicle, he offered a bribe to avoid arrest.
“I can get you guys whatever you need; I just don’t want to go to jail.”
Police found heroin in the driver’s side door compartment and in a bottle of Advil. The woman in the vehicle was four months pregnant and not the girl’s mother. Bonaiuto is facing charges of possession of heroin and neglecting a child without great bodily harm.
An Ohio man, Brenden Bickerstaff-Clark, decided to tell his young child that his mother had died of a heroin overdose and recorded it. The two-minute video has been watched more than 23 million times and reveals the exact moment the 8-year-old boy is told that his mother is dead.
Opinions have been divided over the video. Many viewers have questioned why a father would record his son at such a painful time. The father has argued that he made the video as a wake-up call for parents who were also drug addicts to quit for the sake of their kids.
“Don’t let this disease have to make someone tell your child that your dead because of drugs. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he wrote. “My son has no mother because of heroin… get help so our children don’t have to suffer.”
Bickerstaff-Clark revealed in the video that he was a recovering addict and had been clean for over three months.
[Featured Image by Knight Correctional Center]