FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A heartbreaking photo going viral shows a Fayetteville, North Carolina police officer comforting a one-year-old after his parents overdosed on heroin while he was in the car.
The Fayetteville Police Department posted the photograph September 17 with this caption:
Today, #FayPD officers had to arrest 2 parents that overdosed in a vehicle while the child was in the car. Concerned citizens notified police and Officer Sheeley is seen consoling this 1 year old child until a grandparent could arrive.
If you or a loved one need help with substance abuse, call the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin. Hotline now: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Police say someone noticed a car with two people inside, slumped over and unconscious at about 7 a.m. Friday, September 17.
The one year-old boy was in the car.
In the photo posted on Facebook, you see Officer Michael Sheeley hold the child in his arms, waiting for the child’s grandparents to arrive.
Sgt. Jeremy Glass posted the picture on Facebook because of what he calls the sad story it illustrates.
“This is something that we see routinely, and it’s sad,” Glass said. “And fortunately, officers were able to capture that candid shot of Officer Sheeley and that young child.”
CNN reports police arrested the boy’s parents, 28-year-old Joshua Wright and 26-year-old Alicia Kowszik of Fayetteville.
They were charged with possession of heroin and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Security video shows the car arrived at 10:50 the night before and it stayed there until a passerby called 911 more than eight hours later.
Sgt. Glass says children are too often the innocent victims of drug abuse.
“We’ve had children running down the street in diapers, their parents or caregivers have overdosed inside a residence.”
On their Facebook page, Fayetteville N.C. police published the number for the national substance abuse and mental health services.
“To see how many people that drug abuse affects in real life is powerful and I think everybody needs to see this.”
Written by KFDM/FOX4