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Man and woman found passed out with toddler in vehicle at Massillon gas station

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Posted at 12:54 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 19:50:09-04

Two people are facing charges after they passed out and were found slumped over in a running vehicle with a toddler inside, according to a Massillon police report.

Authorities said the driver — 48-year-old Connie M. McLaughlin — and passenger — 53-year-old John J. Graden — were found in a Chevrolet pickup truck at the Marathon gas station on Lincoln Way West in Massillon by several concerned citizen just before 10 p.m. Thursday.

The truck was still in drive when two people arrived and jumped into action. Police said one of citizens used her vehicle to block the pickup from moving and then placed the vehicle in park, removing the 3-year-old child from the backseat.

The citizens administered first aid to the couple, including giving CPR to McLaughlin, until first responders arrived.

Sgt. Brian Muntean praised the the women for their quick action.

"I can't say that I've ever seen where two females took it upon themselves, blocked the car in, reached in, really put themselves in danger," Muntean said.

The report states police found a cloth zipper bag in McLaughlin's possession containing a cut straw, blue pill crusher and brown powder.

Officers also located an open 24-ounce Bud Ice beer in the center console of the truck.  

After McLaughlin was placed in the back of a police cruiser, officers said they witnessed her moving around in what appeared to an attempt to conceal something. When police searched the back seat of the car they found a white rock-like substance, the report states.

Police said when they searched Graden they found a pill container with his name on it, holding what appeared to be marijuana.

According to the police report, Graden was babysitting the child at the time of the incident. 

The toddler's mother was contacted and responded to the scene to pick up her child, police said.

Stark County Children Services was notified of the incident.

McLaughlin was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs, open container, driving under suspension, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering children. She was taken to Stark County Jail.

Graden was charged with possession of marijuana and endangering children and taken to Massillon City Jail.