PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – A tip from a concerned citizen helped save a baby from possible harm after the infant was seen being carried on the side of a busy Pasco road by a man who was exhibiting erratic behavior and turned out to be under the influence of the drug “Molly,” according to authorities.
On July 3, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about a man walking on the side of a road who was behaving in an unusual manner and was carrying an infant. The caller was concerned for the safety of the baby.
PSCO Corporal Birge and Deputy Gerardi responded to the area and found Roger Mumma III, age 29, walking along the side of Little Road with a 6-month-old baby in his arms. Mumma was walking southbound and was near Grove Drive when deputies spotted him at 10:26 a.m.
They asked Mumma if he needed help to get to his destination instead of walking on the side of the road.
According to an arrest affidavit, Mumma repeatedly said, “people are after me and they are going to get me over drugs.”
Mumma became agitated and confrontational which made PSCO Corporal Birge and Deputy Gerardi concerned. They said Mumma’s agitated and erratic behavior continued to escalate, which caused them to fear for the baby’s safety because Mumma was extremely close to the roadway. They were worried that Mumma would run out into traffic carrying the child.
Mumma then kept looking around and said “all these cars are after me.”
Deputy Gerardi then went to pat Mumma down and he pulled away from the deputy and demanded that the baby be returned to him. Mumma continued to resist the deputy and was forced to the ground while Corporal Birge took the baby.
Deputy Gerardi was able to take Mumma into custody and put him in the back of the patrol car.
According to the arrest affidavit, Mumma admitted to taking the drug “Molly” two hours before deputies saw him walking on the road. He also allegedly admitted to taking the drug the night before.
PSCO Corporal Birge and Deputy Gerardi said Mumma was not able to properly care for the baby because of his paranoia and admission that he was on drugs. They arrested him on charges of child neglect and resisting an officer with violence.
Mumma was booked into the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the baby is now being cared for by family members.