An Indiana father is facing decades in prison after police said he refused to call 911 after his son ingested a large quantity of crystal meth, allowing the boy to die.
Police said 8-year-old Curtis Collman III accidentally ate his father’s crystal meth, mistaking it for cereal. As CNN reported, the amount of the drugs that the boy ate was so large, police said it would have killed a fully grown man — nearly 180 times the amount considered lethal.
Curtis Collman II reportedly noticed his son was feeling ill and called a friend to come over and help, KCRA reported. The boy’s condition quickly deteriorated, but the father took no action to help his son.
The boy soon began convulsing, but his father allegedly refused to help and prevented others from helping. The friend Collman had called tried to call the police, but Curtis Collman II reportedly held the friend at gunpoint. He also prevented his own parents, the grandparents of the child, from calling for help.
Police said the delay cost the boy his life and caused him to suffer greatly before his death.
“An 8-year-old child more than likely suffered for many hours. It upsets you,” said Detective Tom Barker.
Police said the case was difficult for those who worked on it, as many of them are parents themselves.
As CNN reported earlier this year, the number of accidental overdoses among children has risen dramatically in recent years. As the heroin epidemic spreads across the country, many children are showing up in the ER after accidentally ingesting drugs left around by parents or caretakers, often thinking it was candy or other food.
The report noted that the number of children hospitalized for an accidental overdose has doubled over a 10-year period.
“The study, which published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, looked at children between ages 1 and 17 who were admitted to hospitals and pediatric intensive care units with opioid-related diagnoses from 2004 to 2015. Researchers found that the number of children admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose nearly doubled to 1,504 patients between 2012 and 2015, from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007.”
Curtis Collman II is charged with neglect of a dependent causing death and a number of other charges including pointing a firearm, theft, and failing to register as a sex offender. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Collman has requested bond reduction so he can remain at home while awaiting trial, but prosecutors have argued that he not be given bail.