Like many other communities around the world, East Liverpool, Ohio, is suffering from a heroin epidemic. Which is why the city’s police shared chilling images of a man and woman who had allegedly overdosed in their car while a 4-year-old boy sat alert and helpless in the backseat on Wednesday, September 7.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the child caught up in this horrible mess,” read an update on the City of East Liverpool, Ohio, Facebook page. “This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince other users to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
“We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the no drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis,” the post continued. “The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.”
The warning has has been shared more than 17,000 times.
According to a police report, officer Kevin Thompson started following a Ford Explorer driven by James Acord after he spotted the vehicle being driven erratically and “weaving back and forth.” When the SUV came to a stop behind a school bus, Thompson approached. In his report, Thompson noted that the 47-year-old’s speech was almost unintelligible, his pupils were “pin point” and his head was bobbing back and forth. At one point, Acord tried to shift the car back into drive, but Thompson took the keys. In the backseat: front seat passenger Rhonda Pasek’s son.
Before losing consciousness, Acord informed Thompson that he was taking Pasek to the hospital. Per the police report, Lifeteam EMS responders were able to revive both with Narcan, which is used to counter the effects of an opiate overdose.
Acord was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a child and slowing or stopping in a roadway. Pasek, 50, was charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not wearing a seat belt. Both pleaded not guilty and remain in police custody, the Morning Journal reported on Friday. Acord was sentenced to 180 days in jail for each charge, to be served concurrently, and was fined $475, per the paper.
Pasek’s child is in custody of Columbiana County Children’s Services.
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