Most kids go trick-or-treating with visions of Snickers bars, Skittles and Kit Kats in their heads. But when Lars and Shelly Brosdahl's 7-year-old son dumped out his Halloween loot Friday, they found something much less sweet: a bag of cash and methamphetamine.
The Brosdahls' Ramsey neighborhood was packed with kids and parents, and nobody noticed when someone who looked like a teenager dropped something in the 7-year-old's bag as he followed his big sister up to a door. When the boy, dressed as a ghoulish skateboarder, poured out his candy stash later, his 9-year-old sister, in pirate garb, noticed he had a $20 bill. It was in a wad in a plastic baggie.
"I looked at it and said, 'This is $85,'" Lars Brosdahl said Monday. The bag also had some clear crystals that looked like rock candy, he said. "We assumed it was drugs," he said.
Police later confirmed the stuff was 2.2 grams of methamphetamine, worth up to $200 in street value.
"The [kids] could have OD'd on it. That's what made me so shaky and upset,'' Shelly Brosdahl said. The Brosdahls asked that their children's names not be used.
When the couple asked their son about it, he recalled the costumed teen with the candy.
"He said some bigger kid ran by him and asked if he wanted some candy. He said, 'Sure,' and the kid dropped it into his bag," Lars Brosdahl said.
About that time, Ramsey police were searching the neighborhood on foot for a 24-year-old man who had fled a nearby apartment after his male roommate called police about being assaulted by the roommate. Officials can't link the meth to the 24-year-old, but surmise he was spooked by seeing cops.
"Who else would dump it?" said Capt. Tim Dwyer.
He said the 24-year-old was arrested about 7:45 on Halloween night, about 30 minutes after the call to police. Officers spotted the man on the phone at Bill's Superette on Alpine Street and Hwy. 47. An assault charge against the man is expected.
The next day, police handed out 140 fliers in the neighborhood near the 15500 block of Yakima, warning parents to check their kids' candy hauls. Nobody else got any meth, Dwyer said.
"We are confident it was an isolated case. We don't believe somebody was handing it out."
Lars Brosdahl said they hadn't talked to their kids before about drugs, and the kids didn't know that drugs are dangerous. "They know now. We had some friends over and their kids learned too," he said. "We showed it to them and told them if anybody tries to give you something, go to an adult first before you do anything with it."
He said it was good his son got the drug because "if another kid got it, something might have turned out different."
Although their son was a bit shaken up by what happened, he was very happy about the cash. "It was like a gold mine to him. He's already talking about what he can buy at Wal-Mart or Target," his dad said. "He was happy until the police left and he didn't have his money. "
But things may look up.
If no one claims the $85 within 90 days, Dwyer said, police will return it to the boy.
The boy plans to split the loot with his sister.
"He said he gets $45, she gets $40," their dad said. "He said, 'It was in my bag.'"
Jim Adams • 612-673-7658