ORLANDO- A man has been arrested after investigators said he took his 3-year-old nephew to buy crack cocaine.
Meliek Simmons was found with his uncle during a traffic stop on Old Winter Garden Road and Silverton Street.
Meliek hadn't been seen since Saturday afternoon after leaving home with an uncle.
He's never pulled no stunt like this, said Ciara Simmons, mother.
Investigators said Calvin Reed, Sr. told them he failed to return Meliek to his mother after he withdrew money from an ATM to buy lawn mower parts, but instead bought crack.
He'd go over to my auntie house, use the computer and come right back. But he's never taken my son this long and it's been a whole day, Simmons said.
According to the arrest report, Reed admitted to smoking the crack cocaine behind the lifted hood of the car so Meliek would not witness him getting high.
[Meliek] likes to have fun. He likes to count. He likes to read. He likes to say his numbers. He'll count in Spanish. He knows his whole family name. He likes to try and help cook. He's friendly, Simmons said.
But it's the attributes of the boy’s uncle that had authorities worried.
Reed has a history of drug abuse. He had just recently been released from drug rehab.
At the time of Reed's arrest, an officer noted that Meliek appeared to be dirty and smelled of urine but did not appear to have any visible injuries.
Reed was charged with child neglect and is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1,000 bond.
By Mark Jenkins,
Sunday, June 27 2010