EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio– It is an image police officers see just about everyday: People slumped over from an opiate overdose.
Often small children are near the person who used drugs, and officers try to save the adult while they attempt to shield young eyes from the ugly side effects of narcotics.
So on Wednesday, when officers found two adults passed out in the front seat of a vehicle and a 4-year-old boy in the backseat, a small-town police chief decided everyone needed to see what he sees.
“Enough already,” said East Liverpool Chief John Lane. “People need to know what is happening. This picture is graphic, it’s disturbing. I need people to get upset and help us take back the streets. I need the presidential candidates to look at this and tell me what they will do to fix it.”
Lane and Brian Allen, the city’s safety director, said they also hope the picture will deter other drug users.
The police report said an East Liverpool officer noticed an SUV with West Virginia license plates driving erratically on Wednesday. The officer witnessed the driver slam on the brakes as the SUV approached a stopped school bus that was dropping off kids. The SUV came to a stop in the middle of the road.
The officer said the driver’s head was bobbing and his speech was almost unintelligible. The driver was identified as James Acord. He told the officer he was taking his front seat passenger, Rhonda Pasek, to the hospital.
Pasek, the grandmother of the 4-year-old boy in the back seat, was passed out. She had custody of the child.
Pasek and Accord both have been released from the hospital.
Accord pleaded guilty to charges and received a year in jail. Pasek is still facing several charges.
The boy is now with other relatives.