A couple is in jail after they allegedly got high and passed out driving down the road — while an infant they were baby-sitting sat in the back seat.
Paul Rearden, 28, is charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12, first-degree wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
His wife, Christie Rearden, 27, is charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and public intoxication.
Sheriff Pat Melton said a passerby noticed Paul Rearden slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle around 3 p.m. Monday. The vehicle was allegedly stopped in the middle of St. Clair Street, right in front of the Franklin County Courthouse. Melton said Christie Rearden was passed out in the passenger seat.
The passerby went inside to get a court security deputy, Melton said.
When the deputy came outside, he allegedly found Paul Rearden passed out with his foot on the brake. He regained consciousness when the deputy banged on his window. Melton said that was when Rearden took his foot off the brake, causing the vehicle to begin rolling.
The driver’s door was allegedly locked, but Rearden eventually rolled down the window, allowing the deputy to unlock and open the door, then put the vehicle into park.
An infant boy — who was less than 1 year old — was in the back seat throughout the incident, Melton said.
The couple was allegedly baby-sitting the boy. They were on their way to pick up the baby’s sibling, Melton said, whom they were supposed to baby-sit, too.
The infant was taken by child protective services, and then later picked up by his grandmother, Melton said.
During a search of the vehicle, authorities said they found 47 Percocet pills.
Paul Rearden is being held on more than $30,000 full cash bond.
Christie Rearden’s bond is currently set at $20,100 full cash.
Both are lodged in the Franklin County Regional Jail.