A Waterford man passed out on heroin while parked in a car with his infant son Saturday, Colonie police said.
A passerby noticed the man slumped over his steering wheel and the 6-month-old child in the back seat and called police, Colonie police spokesman Lt. Robert Winn said.
Police responded, woke the man without anti-heroin overdose drugs and rescued the child unharmed, Winn said.
Charged is 24-year-old Alvaro Uruchima, of Timber Drive, Waterford. Uruchima faces one count each of endangering the welfare of a child and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanors.
The incident happened just after 6 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot near Rumors Salon, 626 Loudon Road, police said.
The good Samaritan returned to her own car and noticed Uruchima unresponsive, what appeared to be drug paraphernalia and the child, Winn said.
Officers determined Uruchima dropped off his wife at her job nearby then sat in his car in the parking lot, snorted heroin and passed out while the child remained in a car seat in the back, Winn said.
Police located the child’s mother and turned the son over to her. Police also contacted Child Protective Services to check into the boy’s living conditions further.
Police found in the car the straw they believe Uruchima used to snort the heroin, visible glassine baggies of the drug, as well as four full heroin baggies, Winn said.
Winn said town officers carry in their car Naloxone, a drug used to quickly counteract and block heroin overdoses. While officers did not have to use the drug on Uruchima, they have used it successfully on individuals in the past. Officers have had the drug available for at least a year.
Winn called the case troubling, noting similar incidents elsewhere of children found present where drugs are used.
[Opioid-addicted parents get their fix, even with children watching]
“Heroin has become such an epidemic on both the criminal justice system and health system,” Winn said. “We are in the midst of it and we are trying to get our way out of it.”
Winn praised the passerby for spotting the problem and alerting police. Had she not done that, he said the situation could have gotten worse.
He said police ask citizens to contact police if they see something that looks out of place.
“This is a great example of that,” Winn said, “that this citizen was willing to get involved.”
Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.