Officer consoles 1-year-old after parents arrested for overdose in car

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 12:54 PM CDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WRAL) – A heartbreaking story of drug abuse was capture in a photo.

Police in North Carolina photographed an officer comforting a toddler whose parents had overdosed on heroin.

They posted that picture on social media, where it has generated hundreds of comments.

Police say somebody noticed a car with two people inside, slumped over, unconscious around 7 a.m. Friday.

Also in the car: a 1-year-old boy.

In the photo posted on Facebook, you see that child in the arms of Officer Michael Sheeley, awaiting the boy’s grandparent to arrive.

This photo was posted on social media and has generated hundreds of comments.
This photo was posted on social media and has generated hundreds of comments. (Fayetteville Police Department // Facebook)

Sgt. Jeremy Glass posted the picture on Facebook because of the sad story it illustrates.

“This is something that we see routinely and it’s sad,” Glass said. “Fortunately, officers were able to capture that candid shot of Officer Sheeley and that young child.”

Police arrested the boy’s parents, 28-year-old Joshua Write and 26-year-old Alicia Kowszik, both of Fayetteville.

The pair was 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 had stayed there until a passerby called 911 more than eight hours later.

Glass said 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,” he explained.

On the Facebook post, police published the number for national substance abuse and mental health services: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

“To see how many people that drug abuse affects in real life is powerful, and I think everybody needs to see this,” Glass said.

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