Utica man arrested for abandoning toddler during drug chase

Robert Cooper

A Utica man is under arrest for reckless endangerment with a toddler while in possession of heroin.

Utica Police say an officer was on patrol in the area of John Street around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday when he noticed a car pass several cars stopped at a red light, then drive through the red light. Tthe officer attempted to pull the car over, but the driver fled.

Utica Police say 30-year-old Robert Cooper of Utica was speeding and committed other dangerous violations. Because of the dangers, the officer ended the pursuit.

A short time later, officers from New York Mills pursued Cooper back into the city and Utica Police officers again tried to stop him, say police. Cooper continued to speed and threw several items out the window.

Again, officers ended the pursuit but shortly after, Cooper abandoned his car in a lot at York Street and Maple Street.

Utica Police say that when officers approached the abandoned car, they found a young toddler in the back seat. They were able to find Cooper in a nearby house and take him into custody. During the arrest, officers discovered several glassine envelopes which contained heroin.

Cooper is charged with several misdemeanors, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child, and reckless endangerment.