Graphic Photo: Officer’s traffic stop may have saved the lives of a couple and the child in the back seat of their car

East Liverpool, Ohio photo of couple allegedly passed out on drugs with child in car

Photo Courtesy: City of East Liverpool, Ohio

The East Liverpool, Ohio Police Department is making national headlines for sharing a photo of a couple allegedly passed out on drugs in their car while a child believed to be their son sits in the back seat.

The photos are graphic.  That fact was so noted by the City of East Liverpool, Ohio, which thought that an important point could be made by sharing the photo.

Photo Credit: City of East Liverpool Police Department, East Liverpool, Ohio
Photo Credit: City of East Liverpool Police Department, East Liverpool, Ohio


According to the police report filed on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, Officer Kevin Thompson was driving his personal car behind a Ford Explorer which was “weaving back and forth in the lane.”

The driver then braked “hard and skidded to a stop”  when a school bus in front of it stopped.

Officer Thompson eventually stopped the car and identified the driver as James Acord.  He allegedly told police that he was taking the passenger, Rhonda Pasek, to the hospital.  The rest of the affidavit tells the story as follows:

“He then began to try to manipulate the gear shift.  I had to reach in and turn the vehicle off and remove the keys.  I also noted a (four-year-old) male seated in a car seat behind the front seat passenger….The driver eventually went completely unconscious.  Rhonda Pasek was completely unconscious and turning blue.  I summoned an ambulance and attempted to keep her airway open.  Lifestream EMS responded along with Patrolman Fred Flati and Patrolman Shawn Long.  I noted Lifeteam administered several rounds of a drug known as Narcan which is commonly used to reverse and opiate overdose…”

In making the post the department made the following disclaimer:

“Warning Graphic Content!

The city Police department recently responded to a call of an incapacitated driver, attached are photos from the scene along with the actual police report. The city administration works hand in hand with our men in blue to combat this epidemic and together with the law director we have made the decision to release the attached.

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.

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.”

There is no official word on the condition of the suspects involved or custodial arrangements of the child who was a witness to the entire incident.


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