JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 4-year-old boy tested positive for cocaine, and two men were arrested on drug charges at a hotel room where the child was found Wednesday evening, according to Jacksonville police.
Police are also looking for the boy's mother.
Officers were called to Candlewood Suites in the 4900 block of Belfort Road regarding prostitution and narcotics in the hotel room reported by a hotel manager.
Officers said they smelled the strong odor of marijuana in the hallway while walking to the room. They said they knocked on the door several times and could hear a small child running around and talking in the room.
At one point, the boy opened the door and said, "Hi, policeman," according to a police report.
Officers said they never heard an adult voice, and out of concern for the child, they asked the hotel manager to swipe his access card and open the door. The door was only able to open partially because of an upper lock, and a man identified as Quentine Crawford peaked through, police said.
He said he didn't know whom the child belonged to, and he then opened the door, according to the report. Police said another man, Matthew Reagan, was on the bed.
Officers said they saw a small piece of crack cocaine lying on the floor and a small marijuana roach in an ashtray on the table. Both men were detained.
Police said Tara Coleman, the boy's mother, was staying in the room and had left and gone to a store.
As officers questioned the men, they said the boy tried to pick up the crack cocaine as if to eat it, but the officers intervened before he could touch it. Police said they noticed there was white icing all over the floor and table, and they were afraid the boy may have mistaken the drugs for icing.
As a result, the officers called rescuers, and the child was taken to a hospital.
Police said Reagan had obtained cocaine Tuesday night and brought it to the room for Coleman and him to use. He said she was a prostitute, according to the police report.
Officers said they talked to Coleman on the phone and told her the boy was taken to a hospital to be checked for exposure to cocaine. Coleman said she'd be willing to come back to the hotel and take a misdemeanor charge for "hookering," according to the report. She then began yelling at the officer, saying her friends called her and told her rescue was not there and that he was lying to her to get her to come back to the hotel, according to the report.
Once she knew the officers were conducting a child neglect investigation, according to the report, she told police, "I will just have my mom go to the hospital and get (the boy) so I can get (him) later from her. I will take off with (him) so you all will never find me."
Police said they searched the room and found a small plastic container of marijuana in Reagan's red backpack, two glass crack pipes in the bathroom drawer, two small pieces of crack cocaine and another glass crack pipe in a kitchen drawer. Brillo pieces and used inside-pipes to smoke crack cocaine were found throughout the entire hotel room but were not seized, police said.
Police said Reagan exchanged text messages with Coleman and admitted to providing her with cocaine "in exchange for stuff." He later admitted he paid for the hotel room for Coleman's prostitution, according to the report.
Officers said they searched Reagan's car and found a small flashlight key chain with a cocaine residue inside it. He told police he transported some cocaine in it Tuesday night, according to the report.
Reagan's friend took custody of a pit bull that was in the hotel room, police said.
The boy was admitted to the hospital for treatment after testing positive for cocaine. He was later released and placed in protective custody within the foster care system, a Department of Children and Families investigator said.
"The fact that we were called, the fact that authorities were notified, this could have saved this child's life," DCF spokesman John Harrell said. "You're talking about very dangerous stuff here when you have a child this young and you have drugs this strong."
The boy also has a sibling who was already in foster care.
Police said they were trying to obtain a warrant for Coleman on child neglect charges.
Crawford, 29, and Reagan, 39, were booked into the Duval County Jail.