ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – A local father is locked up accused of doing drugs and passing out in a car with his 4-year-old daughter in the backseat. Police say the little girl sat in the car for hours before a neighbor found her.
“I’ve been doing this since 1990,” said Tom Gianaco.
Gianaco is dedicated to his Orangevale neighborhood and is president of the Woodmore Oaks neighborhood watch.
“No matter what kind of activity is, call it in,” said Gianaco.
But little did he know his recent call to sheriff’s deputies may have saved a child’s life.
“I left, came back two hours later and he was still here,” said Gianaco.
He called on a car parked near his home with an unconscious driver inside.
“He was passed out like this by the front wheel,” said Gianaco.
Someone was in the backseat. But what sheriff deputies found even surprised Gianaco.
Deputies say they found Ryan Lemley passed out at the wheel, high on heroin, with his daughter, 4, in the backseat.
“When I heard there was a child involved like that, that just really turned my stomach upside down,” said Gianaco.
But it gets worse. Deputies would find uncapped syringes within reach of the child.
“It’s very sad to hear,” said Gianaco.
The discovery is disheartening for residents of the well-kept neighborhood.
“It’s really unfortunate that his daughter has to be in that seat,” said a neighbor.
It’s unfortunate, but good the the neighborhood watch leader was watching and called authorities before the girl could get hurt.
“Well, that’s why I’m the president,” said Gianaco, laughing. “I’m glad that they caught him.”