Columbia police arrested two men Tuesday who were riding around the Hyatt Park community with their young children and crack cocaine in the car.
Antonio Mauney, 26, was charged with possession with intent to distribute crack, possession with intent to distribute within proximity of a school and disorderly conduct, according to a Columbia police report. Daniel W. Newton, 28, was charged with no drivers license, child passenger restraint violation and a seatbelt violation, police said.
The police departments Pro Active Community Enforcement team was conducting a crime patrol in the Hyatt Park neighborhood when officers noticed a red Chevy Cobalt circling a block around Palmetto Avenue, said Brick Lewis, a police department spokesman. Officers began following the car and then stopped it because Mauney was not wearing a seatbelt. When officers ordered the men to get out of the car, they found the drugs, Lewis said.
Each man had a child with him in the car. They were two and four years old, Lewis said. The 2-year-old was not restrained in a car seat.
The PACE officers also had interest in the car because people in the area have reported that a red Chevy Cobalt with a white man and a black man in it had been seen in the area after recent burglaries. Police have reported an increase in residential burglaries and auto break-ins in the Hyatt Park and Earlewood neighborhoods. People in those areas have reported seeing a white man walking through backyards with shovels and other tools that have been used to break into houses, Lewis said.