EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- At a time when most parents will do almost anything to keep their children away from drugs, police say a Porter man did the unthinkable, allegedly putting his child at risk to save himself.
Deputy Drew Sharp, with the Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, stopped a vehicle on a traffic violation around 8 p.m. on Monday. Inside were three men and an 8-year-old boy. Sharp quickly noticed the vehicle’s occupants seemed suspiciously nervous, according to Pct. 4 Lt. Mark Seals.
After a Pct. 4 K-9 unit, trained in narcotics detection alerted on the vehicle indicating the possible presence of illegal drugs, officers searched the vehicle, but found nothing.
Seals said each of the three men gave officers consent to search their person, which also yielded nothing. The lieutenant began chatting with the 8-year-old boy. Seals said the child seemed nervous and upset, which was understandable under the circumstances. Nonetheless, when searches of the vehicle and three adults came up empty despite a positive alert by the K-9, Seals asked the boy if anyone had asked him to put anything in his pockets or to hold anything.
The child immediately dropped his head, looking down, Seals said.
As the boy allegedly began to acknowledge one of the men had asked him to hide something, Seals said the father, Michael Taylor, became belligerent and had to be restrained. The child then produced two small bags from his pockets, handing them to officers and telling them he had had what they were trying to find, Seals said.
One bag contained 7 grams of methamphetamine, and the other contained around 2 grams of cocaine.
In a subsequent interview, the child revealed that his father asked him to place the two bags in his pocket just prior to the stop, Seals said.
Michael Allen Taylor, 32, of 18379 Pine Post in Porter is charged with first-degree felony possession of a controlled substance and child endangerment, which is a state jail felony.
Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden was outraged to learn the details of Taylor’s arrest.
“We’re out there every day trying to keep drugs off the streets out of the hands of children, and this suspect put drugs directly in his own child’s hands,” Hayden said.
Having a son around the same age as Taylor’s, Hayden said as a father he cannot imagine anyone being capable of such an act.
“I hope justice is served and this man receives the maximum sentence,” he said. “I haven’t spoken with the District Attorney, but I’m confident Mr. Ligon will agree.”
Seals said all of the officers involved and aware of the situation were upset by it.
“One of our concerns was, had the bags busted in the boy’s pocket, the drugs could have been absorbed into the skin,” Seals said. “Seven grams of methamphetamine could easily kill a grown man.”
“It’s impacted our officers because a child doesn’t know any better,” he said. “We see a lot happen in the form of abuse or neglect, but to deliberately subject a child to the dangers of drugs to save yourself is one of the most selfish things I’ve ever seen.”
Seals said the officers were also concerned with the emotional impact on the child, who might feel he did something wrong, either because he concealed something from law enforcement or because he did not keep the drugs hidden for his father.
Eventually, Taylor allegedly admitted to officers the drugs in his son’s pockets were his.
Seals gave a detailed report of the incident to Child Protective Services. The boy was released to his mother, who is also a Porter resident.
On Tuesday, Taylor’s bond was revoked on his pending marijuana charge. He remains held in the Montgomery County Jail with bond set at a total of $13,000.