Authorities charge Cleveland pair with child abuse, DWI, cocaine possession
By Shavonne Walker
A Cleveland pair were charged Monday with child abuse, driving while impaired and crack cocaine possession after a Rowan Sheriff’s deputy went to their apartment to serve arrest warrants.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Christopher James Neal, 23, of the 300 block of Academy Street, with misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance, driving while impaired, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor child abuse. He’s also been charged with felony safecracking or using a duplicate key and misdemeanor larceny.
Authorities also charged Ashley Medlin, 23, also of the 300 block of Academy Street, with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance, misdemeanor larceny, misdemeanor child abuse and misdemeanor harassing phone calls.
A warrant said on Saturday Neal took 30 hydrocodone pills from the bathroom of a woman who appeared to be related to him, in the 200 block of Millburn Drive. On the same day, Medlin took 15 acetaminophen/codeine tablets from the medicine cabinet of the same Millburn Drive home.
On Sunday, authorities said, Medlin repeatedly called the cell phone of another woman who lived at the Millburn Drive home.
A deputy went to the couple’s Cleveland apartment on Monday to serve arrest warrants and discovered the two were not there. Officials were leaving the area when they spotted a vehicle the two were believed to be traveling in, a report said.
Neal was sitting in the driver’s seat and the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle. Neal had glassy eyes, was unsteady on his feet, lethargic and had slurred speech. The deputy asked if he’d taken any medication and Neal said he had not taken anything since lunch.
Neal did not pass field sobriety tests and was arrested at the scene. His 8-month-old son was in the car. When a deputy asked about any illegal substances in the car, Medlin said it wasn’t her car and she was rarely in it.
A deputy searched the vehicle and found a small aluminum vial of crack cocaine and a crack pipe in a cubby area between the driver and passenger seats. A search of Medlin’s purse revealed a crack pipe, a glass container with a crack rock in it, and a razor blade with residue on it.
Medlin’s mother arrived at the scene to take custody of the child. Medlin was issued a $5,000 secured bond, and Neal was issued a $10,000 secured bond. Both remain in the Rowan County jail.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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