The incident was reported near Lincoln High School at MacRae Park in Des Moines about 2 p.m.
A short time later, several police cars were stopped behind the car along Southwest 9th Street about a block from the school.
Police said the man, Michael Sutton, 36, had two children — ages 4 and 5 — in the backseat of his car.
The officer said it took about a quarter of a mile to get Sutton pulled over. “He just kept rolling” south along Southwest 9th Street, police said.
Once outside the car, police said Sutton admitted to smoking meth the night before and that he was “still feeling the effects of it.” He said he was eating rocks but “they were small ones,” he told police.
Police said they found a drug pipe in his pocket. He was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, child endangerment and some minor traffic charges.
Police said test results would take time, but that Sutton could face additional charges.
“They saw something, knew it was concerning, had concern for him or what his actions were and made the effort to contact an officer. Certainly, they could have carried on with their day and not done a thing about it, but they did the right thing in this situation,” said Sgt. Jason Halifax, Des Moines police spokesman.
The children were held until their mother, Sutton’s girlfriend, or another appointed guardian could pick them up.