Heroin is an epic problem in today’s society. An Ohio couple is facing charges after being found passed out in a vehicle with a young child in the back seat. The two adults overdosed on heroin and nearly crashed with a 4-year-old boy in the back seat.
James Lee Acord and Rhonda Pasek were found passed out in an SUV by the East Liverpool Police on Wednesday. The police department took photos to reveal just how dangerous “the poison known as heroin” can be.
In the graphic photos, you can see a man and woman slumped over passed out in the driver and passenger seat, as well as a little boy well and awake in the back seat.
— Jan Pentz (@janpentz) September 9, 2016
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
The 4-year-old boy was said to be Pasek’s grandson and was taken into custody by child services. He is now in the care of a neighbor.
Kevin Thompson, a patrolman for Liverpool Police Department said he saw the Ford Explorer “driving very erratic,” and almost hit a school bus as it was letting children out.
“At Prospect Street an East Liverpool School Bus was in the process of discharging children. The suspect vehicle began to brake hard and skidded to a stop.”
Thompson was off-duty at the time, but headed to work.
“I noted his head bobbing back and forth his speech was almost unintelligible. I also noted pin point pupils.”
Thompson said when he approached the vehicle, Acord informed him that he was on his way to take Pasek to the hospital. Accord then attempted to use the gear shift, but Thompson reached in to take the car keys before Acord was able to make a move.
Thompson told WTOV that this could have turned into a very serious matter. People could have been injured, or even killed.
“It’s one of those things, you’re a police officer 24-hours a day, even in your personal vehicle, and when you’re traveling to and from work. From there, the story took a frightening turn. As the officer followed the vehicle down a hill, a school bus was dropping off kids at the end of the day. Thankfully the suspect hit the brakes and skidded to a stop, avoiding any collision with the bus or students. Minutes could’ve meant the difference between how it played out to what could’ve happened. Somebody could’ve been killed or seriously injured.”
A substance collected from the vehicle is being sent to a lab to determine for sure, but it is being treated as a suspected heroin overdose.
Acord has been fined $475 and sentenced to 360 days in jail after pleading guilty to child endangerment and OVI. Acord will also have a 3-year license suspension.
Pasek pleaded not guilty to child endangerment, a seat belt violation, and public intoxication. Her bond is set at $150,000 and she is scheduled for a hearing on September 15 at 8:30 a.m. in East Liverpool Municipal Court.
According to CDC, health officials have reported that between 2002 and 2013, the nationwide heroin deaths have nearly quadrupled. In 2013, there were well over 8,000 heroin-related deaths.
Unfortunately, most heroin abusers not only use heroin, but also use at least one other type of drug. Nearly 45-percent of heroin abusers are addicted to opioid painkillers.
The CDC reports that the people at a higher risk of heroin abuse are white, non-Hispanic males, who have alcohol problems or are addicted to other drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, or opioid painkillers.
[Photo by nanantachoke/AP Images]