A man and a woman were found passed out with a toddler wearing a urine-soaked diaper in the backseat, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 4:35 a.m. Saturday, a sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop on a silver Cadillac stopped in the middle of the intersection at River Road and Tamiami Trail and blocking the northbound lanes of Tamiami Trail.
The driver, 36-year-old Matthew McRee, and the passenger, 30-year-old Christina Mattessino of Englewood were asleep with a 2-year-old child sitting in the backseat in a diaper full of urine, according to the sheriff’s office report. The deputy knocked on the window and the couple woke up, startled.
McRee and Mattessino were described as impaired and unable to stay alert, according to the sheriff’s office.
When the car was moved off the road, the deputy asked McRee a series of questions, to which he responded with a low, slurred voice, according to the report. The 36-year-old didn’t know where he was or what time it was, but he knew he was heading home after being released from the Manatee County jail on a second driving while license suspended charge, according to the report. He said he realized he was going back to jail because of his invalid license.
Although he told the deputy he hadn’t been under the influence of any alcohol or narcotic, law enforcement found four syringes, a burned purple spoon in Mattessino’s purse, a clear bag containing marijuana and a red soda can with a brown, tacky substance on top that tested positive for heroin. Two of the syringes had an unknown liquid in them.
After being read his Miranda rights, McRee said the marijuana was his but the heroin wasn’t.
The 2-year-old was released to relatives, according to the sheriff’s office, and the Department of Children and Families was notified.
McRee is being held at the Sarasota County jail on charges including child neglect, DUI, possession of heroin and marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with license suspended. Mattessino, held on a $17,000 bond, faces charges of child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.