WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Just last week, the Winter Haven Police Department announced all officers would carry Narcan. Over the weekend, it saved a woman’s life.
Officers were called to the parking lot of St. Joseph’s Church at 532 Ave. M Saturday. Christina Assad was found slumped over in a running minivan with two small kids inside.
"Makes me angry, first off, because bottom line, she did it," Assad's mother, Heather, said.
Heather Assad had gone inside the church, leaving Christina and her two children in the car. When she returned a few minutes later, she found the woman slumped over in the passenger seat. All doors were locked and windows up, but the air conditioning was running.
The driver’s side window was broken to get to Assad and the kids. When Assad was pulled out, police found a used syringe, silver spoon and lighter on the floorboard.
The woman was laid on the ground and an officer used Narcan on her. Paramedics arrived and transported the woman to the hospital.
"Being first on scene allowed the swift deployment of Narcan by our officer," said Chief Charlie Bird. "Hopefully she will get the help she needs to prevent this from happening to her again."
That is what Heather Assad wants for her daughter, but she said it hasn't been easy. Assad has a long history of drug-related charges, and Assad said she's struggled with addiction since she was about 18.
"She knows what happened. We talked about it. I've held her. I've felt like cracking her upside the head," Assad said. "I mean, there's so many emotions that you go through."
Assad wasn’t charged in this case. Florida statute says that a person who experiences a drug overdose and is need of medical attention won’t be charged prosecuted or penalized if the evidence of possession was the result of an overdose or need for medical assistance.
Heather Assad said she is the legal guardian of her daughter's kids, and Christina is about to start a three-year prison sentence for another drug-related conviction.
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