A young Long Island dad couldn't find a babysitter Thursday, prosecutors said, and as a result, took his eight month old daughter with him as he sold heroin on a Central Islip street corner.
Tyreek Langs, 23, pleaded not guilty Friday to drug and child endangerment charges in Suffolk criminal court.
"He loves his daughter to death, does everything for her," said a man outside court who identified himself as a friend of Langs. "He's always with his daughter."
A woman believed to be the 8-month-old's mother refused comment. According to prosecutors, the child's mom was at work when the alleged drug deal took place.
Undercover Suffolk county police officers arrested Langs. Along with his daughter, police said he was in possession of five bags of heroin, worth about a $500.
"Bizarre situation that someone would go to those lengths with complete disregard for a child," said Det. Lt. James Rooney.
According to Rooney, the undercover officers were surprised to see a baby in the middle of an alleged drug deal. To protect the child, Rooney said, the officers made the arrest even before the drug transaction was completed.
"Anything can happen in a drug deal," Rooney added.
Police were responding to neighborhood complaints about drug dealing, Rooney said. Neighbors living near the corner where Langs was arrested expressed disgust and sadness about how this young dad may have gone wrong.
"He needs help," said Almond Reid, his own teenaged son standing at his side. "He doesn't need to be trying to raise a kid and doing what he's doing."
A Suffolk judge ordered Langs to stay away from his daughter; an order his friends said, will be tough to take.
"He would rather be dead, I think, than not to be able to see his daughter," Langs friend explained.