Charlie Sheen Kids Spotted with Brooke at Car Wash ... Search Called Off

11/16/2016 10:47 AM PST

Charlie Sheen's Kids Spotted with Brooke at Car Wash, Search Called Off

EXCLUSIVE

Charlie Sheen's ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, made a getaway in an SUV early Wednesday morning with her 7-year-old sons ... after eyewitnesses called police out of concern for the kids.

TMZ spoke to one of the witnesses who says he and a couple friends were driving past a Salt Lake City car wash around 6 AM Wednesday when they saw a woman swinging wildly at her kids. They pulled over to confront her, not realizing it was Brooke, but say she immediately started yelling.

The witness says he recognized Brooke once they got face-to-face, and she seemed "high as a kite." He adds ... Bob and Max were in PJs with no shoes, and one of them begged, "Don't call the cops, they are going to take my mommy away!" Still, the men called police.

He says Brooke walked to a run-down hotel behind the car wash and went inside momentarily before the black Escalade arrived. We're told Brooke, the boys and someone who appeared to be an assistant or nanny immediately fled before cops arrived.

The witness reported the vehicle's license plate to cops.

Law enforcement sources tell us Utah's state police have spoken to Brooke by phone, and no longer think the children are in danger. They're also saying she didn't commit a crime.

TMZ broke the story ... police were first called when she went into a bar Tuesday night with the boys, then wandered around town looking for a hotel room.