Man arrested after Hawkins County Police find drug paraphernalia in child’s diaper bag
A Bulls Gap man was arrested in Hawkins County on Sunday night for child abuse and neglect after police found numerous syringes and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop. According to a police report, Stephen Douglas Merrill, 30, was arrested following a stop for a tag light violation on Highway 11W.
Merrill’s one-year-old daughter was in the passenger seat reportedly playing with a torn-open bag of screws and washers. He told deputies upfront his license was revoked and he had no insurance. A search of the vehicle revealed four used syringes under the driver’s seat, an open bag of syringes in a diaper bag, and a baggie containing meth residue on the passenger side under the child’s car seat.
Merrill was arrested for child abuse/neglect and the Department of Children’s Services was contacted.