MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 22-year-old man faces charges after police say he took his 2-year-old boy to a “dope house,” where the boy became high, after another individual was smoking meth in front of him.
According to the criminal complaint, police met with Joseph Michael Ray, of St. Paul, on Sunday after being called to Children’s Hospital regarding a child placement. Upon arrival, the boy was being cared for by medical staff who said the toddler appeared to be high on something.
The boy was lethargic and unresponsive when he was brought to the hospital by medics, according to the charges.
Ray told police he has been caring for the boy at his grandmother’s house for the past five weeks. He said he took his son to a “dope house” across the street from his grandmother’s residence, on the 600 block of East Jessamine Avenue in St. Paul about two days ago.
Ray said one of the residents at the “dope house” was smoking meth and acknowledged he and his son shouldn’t have been there, according to the charges.
Ray said his friend’s mother gave his son some Tylenol after noticing the boy looked “kinda sick.” Later that day, Ray said the boy “got really sunk-eyed.”
Ray said the boy went to sleep around 12:30 a.m. and appeared to be in a deep, deep sleep. He and his father tried to wake the boy but he was pale, dehydrated and had chapped lips, according to the charges.
Officials say the toddler has a positive screen for the presence of amphetamine in his system.
Ray was arrested and charged with endangerment of a child, as well as violation of a domestic abuse, no contact order. On Feb. 7, Ray was sentenced on a count of felony terroristic threats in Ramsey County.