A report of a drunk in a Stafford Township parking lot leads to the arrest of a North Carolina man, a drunken-driving charge against a woman from the Tarheel State, and placement of her toddler daughter with relatives.

John Passarelli (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)
John Passarelli (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)

John Passarelli, 30, of Sanford, NC, was the subject of warrants issued in North Carolina and New Jersey, according to Stafford Township Police.

A bystander's phone call on January 13 at about 4:30 PM prompted police to respond to the WaWa lot on Route 72 at Mermaid Drive in Ocean Acres.

Police did not disclose the nature of the warrants, but said they found Passarelli in a car driven by Megan Ellen Saunders, 30, also of Sanford, and her two-year-old daughter inside.

After Passarelli was apprehended, Saunders was charged with driving under the influence, endangering the welfare of a child, and motor vehicle violations, led by reckless driving.

Saunders and her daughter were turned over to relatives.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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