CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Safety Harbor man faces drug and child neglect charges after his 10-year-old son frantically called 911 to say he was scared because he did not know where he was at. The boy told dispatch his dad was asleep in the car and would not wake up
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 13535 Feather Sound Dr. in Clearwater around 8:25 p.m. Tuesday. They said the boy was walking around the parking lot and was looking for an adult to help him while the man was sleeping in the car.
Deputies say they found Jon Mark Pogorzelski, 39, sleeping in the car. He appeared to be under the influence of an unknown drug. Deputies say he had Alprazolam and Morphine pills in his pocket and the center console of the car.
Pogorzelski was arrested on charges of felony child neglect, possession of Alprazolam and possession of Morphine. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail with bond set at $9,000.
It’s not the first time Pogorzelski has tangled with the law for behind-the-wheel incidents. His long rap sheet shows dozens of arrests and convictions for traffic offences. He has mug shots on file that date back to 2009.
Neighbors in the 55-plus residence Briar Creek Mobile Home Park said Pogorzelski lives with his mother in a single-wide.
“He’s gonna have to carry this for the rest of his life,” said one neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “I think that’s pretty sad. Definite neglect. I mean, what that child’s going through seeing his father like that? … And on drugs or whatever substance he’s on, that is very shameful.”
“What’s gonna happen to the kid? What kind of environment is he growing? I mean if he grow up in a weed patch, you’re gonna be a weed,” neighbor Bill Russo said.
This case follows other incidents throughout the country of adults passing out in vehicles – with children present.
Earlier this month there was a similar South Florida case. Authorities say a man and woman from Miami face multiple charges after they were found unconscious in a car stopped with their two young children unattended in the back seat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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