Florida couple caught passed out in SUV with 2 young children

Posted at 11:46 AM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 18:10:33-05

(WFLA/CNN) - Police say a Florida couple was caught on camera passed out in a sport-utility vehicle with their two young children in the backseat and a trove of drugs.

Witness Chris O'Quinn spotted the couple, identified as William Ballard and Delaney Crissinger of Manatee County, at a gas station in Sarasota County.


Sarasota County deputies said two girls, ages 18 months and 5 months old, were in the vehicle.

"When I got closer and examined and saw there were kids in the back, I was like, ‘OK I got to call the cops,’" said O’Quinn.

Security video showed the couple had pulled into the gas station parking lot hours earlier.

"I just had my first daughter a week and a half ago, so it really hit a spot with me when I saw the kids in the back seat, wide awake," said O’Quinn.

Deputies and the fire department arrived at the scene.

Investigators said they found meth and heroin ready for sale. What looked like a bottle of baby formula was actually a syringe with a brown liquid inside.

Unfortunately, law enforcement say they have to deal with this kind of thing frequently.

"The drug is so powerful, and it's so important to them, they're willing to neglect their children to do these drugs," said Lt. Joe Giasone with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

It's reminiscent of a scene last fall in Ohio when two parents were caught passed out with two kids sitting in the back.

A quick trip to fill his tank on the way to work turned into an emotional scene for the witness.

"At first I was feeling like I kind of took a daughter from her mother, but that kid is better off anywhere else besides in a car with some junkies nodding off," said O’Quinn.

Deputies said Ballard told them he'd recently lost his job and was selling drugs to make money and admitted using meth before.

As for the kids, they are with relatives and are expected to be OK.

The parents are being held at Sarasota County Jail on drug and child neglect charges.

Courtesy WFLA via CNN Newsource