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Two men and a baby … and an assault rifle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An early morning fast food run landed two men behind bars Saturday after Albuquerque police said they pulled their Mustang convertible into the drive through with an assault rifle on one lap and an 8-month-old boy who appeared to have been neglected on the other.

The passenger and father of the child, 27-year-old Colin Decker, and driver, 28-year-old Mark Richard Cropper, were arrested for child endangerment, police said.

Officers in Northeast Albuquerque were sent to the Jack in the Box at Montgomery and San Mateo around 5 a.m. Saturday to question two men who appeared to be drunk as they tried to order food at the drive through, according to police.

The store’s manager called police to report that the driver had an assault rifle on his lap and that his passenger was holding the infant.

The infant had an “extremely soiled diaper” and a T-shirt too small for the weather, said APD spokesman Simon Drobik.

The boy’s father said he could not remember the last time the baby had been fed.

“Hollywood couldn’t come up with this story,” Drobik said. “What it really comes down to is the safety of the child.”

In addition to the AR-15 assault rifle, officers found a black handgun in the passenger seat and two other guns in their search of the vehicle, Drobik said.

Drobik said the two men were very confrontational with police and it’s unclear why the men brought the guns. Neither appears to have much of a criminal history, according to online state court records.

As officers were at the scene, they pooled their money to pay for food, formula, clothing and diapers for the child, Drobik said, before taking him to the police substation for a diaper change and a meal. The state Children, Youth and Families Department then took custody of the child, Drobik said.

“They’re (the officers) all parents and the parental instincts kicked in,” he said.

Cropper and Decker are being held at the county jail on $15,000 bail. They’re both facing charges relating to child abuse.

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