Video shows young child smoking weed in vehicle, police say; man arrested
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB/Gray news) - The Baton Rouge Police Department has made an arrest after a video surfaced showing a 5-year-old boy smoking while riding in a vehicle with a man.
Police said they believe the child was smoking marijuana.
John Hall, 48, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police say the suspect used to date one of the boy’s relatives.
Baton Rouge Police Spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said the department became aware of the video about two weeks ago and launched an investigation at that time.
The video was sent to police by a concerned citizen, McKneely said.
In the video posted above, WAFB has blurred the child’s face to protect his identity.
Police Cpl. Saundra Watts says they were able to confirm the matter after reviewing the video.
“We were able to positively identify Mr. Hall as the person seen in the video passing that suspected marijuana blunt to a 5-year-old juvenile who was puffing and pulling on that marijuana blunt,” Watts said.
While police believe this was a one-time thing, they want to send a message to anyone out there who thinks something like what was seen in the video is okay.
“When we have individuals like this that are forcing children to partake in illegal substances, we want the public to know that they can reach out to us, provide us with that information, and we will bring that person or persons to justice,” Watts said.
This is not the first time this same child has fallen into a dangerous situation. Police confirm the 5-year-old was the same little boy who was badly hurt a few weeks ago with another child when an AK-47 went off in a home where Desiree Felder was supposed to be watching them. Felder was arrested and later bonded on a $2,500 bail.
Don Coppola with the Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers said a tip to their agency was crucial in helping police track Hall down.
WAFB asked police if the child was drug tested, and officials confirmed he was not. They also assured the public the child is safe.
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