Two children from Camp Verde were placed in their grandmother's care after their father was arrested early Tuesday morning at a local motel.
Charles Clayton Fisher, 31, was arrested on various drug charges by agents of the Gila County Narcotics Task Force.
A guest at the Inn of Payson called the police at 1 a.m. Tuesday after spotting a child crying outside one of the motel rooms. When police arrived, they found a 3-year-old boy alone and crying.
"Somehow or another, the boy got locked out of the room and started screaming holy hell," one of the task force agents said. "The kid was half frozen to death while the dad was inside passed out."
The undercover agent said police officers pounded on the motel room door but were unable to wake the father. They went around to the backside of the motel room, where they found an unlocked patio door. Inside the room, they found a 4-year-old girl asleep next to Fisher. The child also was sleeping next to a crack pipe, agents said.
"Officers tried to wake the suspect with verbal commands, but he still would not wake up," the agent said. "They had to physically touch him to wake him."
With consent from Fisher, agents searched the room and found evidence to charge him with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale and two counts of child abuse.
Both children were checked by Payson Fire Department paramedics, and were released to their grandmother, with consent from Child Protective Services.
"He told us he was trying to get away from everything, he was trying to get away from drugs," the agent said. "The problem was that he brought the drugs with him."
Fisher attended his initial appearance Tuesday morning, and remains in custody in lieu of a $15,000 bond.