A Massachusetts man is behind bars after police say his 5-year-old son brought his dad’s heroin to his kindergarten classroom and told teachers that he turned into Spider-Man when he tasted it.
The incident happened in the city of Holyoke, where police say 29-year-old Benny Garcia allowed his son to find a small bag of heroin that was stamped with a picture of Spider-Man. As the New York Post reported, the boy’s confession that he had tasted the drugs prompted authorities to rush the boy to Baystate Medical Center in nearby Springfield, where doctors evaluated him and found that he had not ingested any of the drugs.
Holyoke Police Lt. James Albert said that it was one of the most unusual crime cases he had ever seen.
“[The boy] loves Spider-Man,” Albert said. “Our officers were quite taken by it all. You don’t often deal with this.”
Police said they found the boy’s father at home sleeping on a bed that contained a number of other bags with white powder, including others with the same Spider-Man stamp on it. There were a total of 170 baggies found in the man’s house, which police said included both heroin and cocaine.
As the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported, court documents said that Garcia grew “very emotional” when he was told by police what happened to his son.
The story gained viral attention, with national news outlets picking up the allegations against the Massachusetts man and a number of people sharing it on social media. It also sparked debate over the growing heroin epidemic, which has hit hard in the state of Massachusetts. As the New York Times previously reported, the state has recently been able to turn the tide a bit after years of sharp increases in fatal overdoses.
“In parts of New England, where a more dangerous drug supply arrived early, the number of overdoses has begun to fall,” the report noted.
“That was the case in Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island; each state has had major public health campaigns and has increased addiction treatment.”
Garcia was charged with drug possession and reckless endangerment of a child, and a judge ordered him to be held until he could undergo a hearing on November 20 to determine if he is a danger to his child. The 5-year-old boy and an infant sibling were also removed from the home after the arrest, the New York Post reported.