EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — The pictures are shocking. They show two adults — who police believe were on heroin — passed out in a car with a little boy in the backseat.
“Shock” is exactly what the East Livepool Police Department was going for when it posted the pictures to its Facebook page.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” the post said. “We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful this story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
According to a police report, on Wednesday an East Liverpool officer spotted an SUV with West Virginia license plates driving erratically. The officer witnessed the driver slam on the brakes as the SUV approached a stopped school bus that was dropping kids off. The SUV came to a stop in the middle of the road and the officer approached.
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, who was passed out and identified as Rhonda Pasek, to the hospital.
The officer said he reached into the vehicle, turned it off and removed the keys just as Acord attempted to drive away. That’s when the officer noticed a 4-year-old boy in the backseat. The boy was later identified as Pasek’s grandson.
The officer said Acord eventually passed out as well. EMS responded and administered Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Acord and Pasek regained consciousness and were taken to the hospital.
Acord is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children, and slowing or stopping in a roadway. Pasek is charged with endangering children, public intoxication, and not wearing a seat belt.
The little boy is in the custody of Columbiana County Children’s Services.