RAMSEY, Minn. (KMSP) - Several kids with packaging tape over their mouths and a woman claiming to be in labor were found inside a stolen vehicle in Ramsey, Minnesota, early Tuesday morning.
Police found seven kids in the car when they stopped it for a traffic violation on the 14200 block of St. Francis Boulevard around 12:19 a.m., according to the City of Ramsey. Upon learning the car was stolen, the three adults in the car were detained.
The driver, a woman, told police she was in labor and was taken to the hospital.
The seven children were reportedly related to the other adults in the vehicle, the Ramsey Police Department told Fox 9. The children were initially unresponsive and some of them had packaging tape over their mouths.
It was quickly realized the kids were not unresponsive, but sleeping. Of those kids all were under the age of five. Only the one-year-old was in a proper booster seat and not buckled properly.
“In this case, obviously concerning the children had tape over their mouths, it was reported by the other children it was some sort of game they were playing,” said Jeff Katers, City of Ramsey Police Chief. “I want to make it clear they were not bound or gagged. They were not under any distress.”
According to the criminal complaint, the officer also noticed the smell of marijuana in the van, a gun unloaded under the second row seat, and a loaded magazine for the gun just behind the driver. Plus, the van was reported stolen out of Missouri.
The children's father, Deszion Wraggs, admitted from the passenger seat he does not have permit to carry and that he had rented the van for a few days about a month ago and believed he did not have any money left on the credit card used.
For now he's facing charges for car theft and child neglect, but more are possible.
“I think it's good thing our officers made contact with these folks that evening and I think it will have positive outcome because of the intervention,” said Katers.
Ramsey police continue to investigate this situation along with Child Protective Services.
All seven kids are now staying with a relative and not their parents.