By KATE FELDMAN
An Ohio city shared shocking images of a man and woman who overdosed on heroin in their car while a 4-year-old boy sat in the backseat.
James Acord was driving a Ford Explorer with West Virginia registration behind a school bus when he allowed his car to drift into an angle on the street.
East Liverpool police officer Kevin Thompson approached the vehicle and 47-year-old Acord, whose speech was unintelligible and “had pin point pupils,” told him that he was taking passenger Rhonda Pasek to the hospital, Thompson wrote in the police report.
After overdosing on heroin, Rhonda Pasek and James Lee Acord passed out in the front seats of his SUV in East Liverpool, Ohio, as Pasek’s 4-year-old son sat in the back. (CITY OF EAST LIVERPOOL)
After Acord tried to shift the car back into drive, Thompson said he reached in and turned off the vehicle, then took the keys.
At that point, he noticed the boy, later identified as Pasek’s son, in the backseat.
Pasek, 50, and Acord, 47, were arrested after they were revived. (COLUMBIANA COUNTY JAIL)
Pasek, 50, was already unconscious and turning blue, while Acord lost consciousness during the stop. EMS responders were able to revive the pair with Narcan, a medication that is used to reverse opiate overdoses, and they were taken to the hospital, according to the police report.
Acord was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, endangering a child and slowing in a roadway. Pasek was charged with endangering a child, not wearing a seatbelt and public intoxication.
East Liverpool police posted the shocking photos on Facebook in an attempt to send a message about the dangers of drug use (CITY OF EAST LIVERPOOL)
The child was taken back to the local police department, where he was met by Columbiana County Children’s Services.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. 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 his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody,” the city wrote on Facebook, along with two photos of the unconscious couple and the alert boy.
“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 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.”