A Vermont couple overdosed on heroin with their babies in the car with them, the latest in a string of incidents in which parents have overdosed on heroin with small children in tow.
As the Eagle-Tribune reports, Jacob Davis, 27, and Tamara Bruce, 32, of Manchester Center, Vermont, both allegedly admitted to the police that they drove three hours to Lawrence, Massachusetts, to buy heroin. There in Lawrence, a passer-by noticed the couple passed out in their Nissan and notified the police.
A police officer went up to check on the car’s occupants — the passer-by had reported that he or she feared the couple were dead — and found, to his horror, two small children moving about on the laps of the passed-out adults. The kids would later be identified as the couple’s 23-month-old and nine-month-old sons.
The responding police officer reported that the 23-month-old, on Tamara’s lap, was “sleeping in his car seat with a blanket covering him like a tent.” The nine-month-old, on Bruce’s lap, “seemed very scared and had small scratches on his face” and wore “dirty clothing with no socks on.” It was about 35 degrees outside at the time of the report.
Similarly, Tamara’s clothing was also “very unsanitary.” Jacob and Tamara were both “sweating profusely,” and their actions were slow, deliberate, and sloppy — consistent with heroin intoxication. Further, Davis had a belt wrapped around his upper arm like a tourniquet — a technique heroin users employ to find a vein. He was face-down on the steering wheel; Tamara was similarly slumped over in the passenger seat.
“While in the presence of officers, both parents continued to show signs and symptoms of being under the influence of a narcotic, admittedly heroin. [Bruce] was observed to have lengthy needle track marks from her wrist to her elbow joint.”
On questioning, both Jacob and Tamara allegedly admitted to having driven three hours from their home in Vermont to Lawrence to score heroin. Both said they had gotten clean from heroin but had relapsed, according to the Daily Mail.
Davis allegedly begged not officer not to arrest him, saying that he knew the names of big-name heroin dealers in Lawrence and would lead cops to them in exchange for his freedom. Similarly, Bruce told the officer that she had “just gotten her kids back” from child welfare authorities in Vermont, and was afraid of losing her kids again.
Both parents were taken into custody and booked on drug and child endangerment charges. The children were taken to a nearby hospital for examination — fortunately, they’re OK — and were placed into emergency custody of child protective services.
The Massachusetts incident is the latest in a string of incidents to make the news in which one or more small children was with their parents while the parent was on heroin. In September, as Inside Edition reported at the time, a security-camera video from a Massachusetts Family Dollar store went viral. The video shows a crying two-year-old trying desperately to wake up her mother, who had passed out on heroin. Incidentally, that story also came out of Lawrence, the same city where Davis and Bruce were found allegedly passed out from a heroin overdose.
— 957 The Beat (@TheBeatTampa) October 12, 2016
Similarly, also in September, the East Liverpool, Ohio, police department caused controversy, according to this Inquisitr report, after posting photos on Facebook depicting a couple passed out from a heroin overdose in their car as their 4-year-old son sat in the back seat.
Back in Massachusetts, Jacob Davis and Tamara Bruce have both been jailed on $2,500 bond. They are due back in court on December 29.
[Featured Image by Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock]