During a court hearing on Monday, an Ohio judge slammed a man who passed out in a car in March, apparently high on heroin, while his 9-year-old daughter frantically called 911 from the vehicle.
WLWT5 reports that Charles Dove, 45, pleaded “no contest” to child endangering after getting high on heroin earlier this year and passing out in the passenger seat of the car. His wife, Paula Smith, 41, was driving the vehicle, and she, too, fell in and out of consciousness, apparently after taking heroin.
The couple’s daughter called her grandmother first and told her she was “going to die” after both mom and dad passed out. After the grandmother instructed the girl to call 911, the 9-year-old managed to reach over her mother’s shoulder and place the car into the “park” position. Authorities used GPS tracking on the child’s cellphone to locate the vehicle in a parking lot in Cincinnati. First responders were dispatched to the scene, and revived Dove and Smith with Narcan. Both were arrested.
Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Fanon Rucker not only ordered Dove to jail for a year, but also berated him for putting his child in danger.
“I can’t handle that my child is going to look at me in 10 years, in 15 years, in 20 years if I’m still around, and say, ‘What happened to the father I was supposed to have?'”
Dove admitted to his drug problem and blamed his criminal past on his addiction. He requested an out-of-state facility for treatment, but the judge refused, and instead ordered him to undergo treatment while serving 12 months behind bars.
“A great program, the most effective program, doesn’t mean anything if the person doesn’t want to take advantage of it.”
Smith’s case is still underway. She’s facing charges of “endangering children, operating a vehicle under the influence, refusal of a chemical test and possession of an open container.”
[Feature Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office]