A father being arrested Tuesday on an outstanding shoplifting warrant was spotted stuffing something into his 8-month-old son’s diaper when officers stopped him Tuesday while he was out walking with his three young children, New Castle police said Wednesday.
The officers took the father, identified as 25-year-old Michael N. Penn, into custody along with the children before discovering that what Penn was shoving in the infant’s diaper was actually 16 baggies of heroin, said Senior Lt. Adam Brams.
Penn, of the first block of Birkshire Road in the Oakmont Park community, was charged with shoplifting, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, heroin possession, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The incident began when New Castle City detectives investigated a shoplifting complaint Sunday afternoon at a Verizon store in New Castle.
Detectives viewed the store’s surveillance video and were able to identify Penn as the man who stole a Samsung tablet and another item from the store last month, Brams said.
Officers searching for Penn found him out walking with his children Tuesday and stopped to pick him up on the shoplifting warrant.
At the time, he was holding his 8-month-old son and 5-year-old daughter, while his 7-year-old son was riding a bicycle next to him, according to court records.
Officers, who saw Penn shoving something down his infant son’s pants, asked Penn to put down the two children.
Penn turned away from the officers and “began to cover his right hand and shove an unknown item into his youngest child’s front pants area,” police said in court records.
Officers were forced to grab Penn’s arms and pull them around his back to arrest him.
After Penn was in custody, officers noticed an unknown object popping out the front of the baby’s pants.
That’s where officers found a bundle of 16 baggies of heroin bound together, Brams said.
As the child was being checked out, Penn said “he was sorry and that he was scared,” which was why he tried to hide the drugs on the child, according to court records.
The total weight of the heroin was .24 grams, police said.
Upon further examination of the evidence collected, officers found an additional bag containing a Xanax pill, for which Penn did not have a prescription, police said.
The three children were turned over to their grandmother, and Family Services was notified, Brams said.
Penn was later released on $4,500 unsecured bail pending a court hearing.
Contact Terri Sanginiti at (302) 324-2771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.