Cape man facing drug possession and child neglect charges
A Cape Coral man is facing drug possession and child neglect charges after he reportedly dropped a child in his arms and tried to run from police during a traffic stop.
Alvin Leroy Puller, 34, of 909 N.E. Fifth Ave., was charged with one count each of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams, child neglect without great harm and resisting an officer/obstruct without violence. He was released today from the Lee County Jail on $5,000 bond.
According to an arrest report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Puller was pulled over by a deputy at about 8 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Pondella Road and River Road in North Fort Myers. He was allegedly driving north over the Edison Bridge at 63 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Puller appeared “nervous” to the deputy, would not make eye contact and “his left hand was shaking” when he handed the deputy his driver’s license, the report states. Puller was asked to exit the vehicle and a K9 officer did “alert to the vehicle.”
Puller removed a small child from the rear passenger seat and the vehicle was searched, according to the report. The deputy located small portions of “marijuana cigarettes” in the center console, which tested positive for THC.
At that time, Puller dropped the child that he was holding and tried to flee.
Another deputy on scene used a Taser on Puller and placed him under arrest.
During a search of Puller, deputies located a bag of white powder in onesock. Two additional bags were found in the immediate area, the report states. All three tested positive for the presence of cocaine.
Deputies reported that no visible injuries were observed on the child, but the child was transported to the Cape Coral Hospital for precautionary reasons. The Department of Children and Families was contacted and the child turned over to a relative, according to the report.
“We have an open investigation on that case,” Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for DCF, said Thursday. “We’ll be investigating whether the child was abused or neglected.”
According to Gillespie, it does not appear either was a factor in this case. It appears there was inappropriate supervision and possible substance abuse by the father, she said. DCF can intervene in various ways, such as making sure the child is not with the father or offering referrals to treatment programs.
“Our primarily goal is to ensure the safety of the child,” she said.
The investigation can take up to 60 days.
Puller was unavailable for comment Thursday.
He has a court date set for July 26, according to jail booking records.