This week came yet another heart wrenching example of the toll the growing heroin epidemic is taking on America and this time an innocent four-year-old boy was caught up in it all.
Police in East Liverpool, Ohio, came upon a minivan with a man and woman in the front seats passed out after taking heroin but officers were aghast to find a four-year-old boy sitting dejectedly in a car seat in the back of the van quietly waiting for his mother to wake back up after her high wore off.
The City of East Liverpool shared the sad story on their Facebook page apologizing to visitors for the shocking photos.
“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 non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis,” the post reads.
“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 post concludes.
Officers from the East Liverpool Police Department responded to a call of an incapacitated driver and came upon a van sitting on the side of the road. When they arrived they discovered James Acord, 47, sitting slumped over in the driver’s seat. Next to him was his mate, Rhonda Pasek, 50, similarly slumped in her seat. Both had passed out after taking drugs, officers discovered.
But what was in the back seat broke the officers’ hearts.
Sitting quietly in the back seat, strapped into a booster chair, was Pasek’s four-year-old son.
When officers tried to rouse the drug addled pair, Acord suddenly tried to start the car and drive away. Officers stopped him and arrested both adults.
Police later learned that both have long records of drug abuse and police involvement.
Acord was later charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children, and slowing or stopping in a road. He leaded no contest, lost his license for three years, and was charged a $475 fine, the Daily Mail reported.
Pasek was charged with endangering children, public intoxication and not wearing a seatbelt to which she pleaded not guilty. She was ordered held on a $150,000 bond.
The four-year-old child was remanded to the county’s child services.
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