BUCYRUS — Heroin continues to disrupt and destroy lives and families in Crawford County.
It is thought to have killed two people in Bucyrus since Monday.
In Galion, a man found Wednesday in a bathroom at Galion Public Library was jailed on heroin-related charges after being treated by paramedics on the scene and at Galion Community Hospital.
Police think, Josh Disbennett, 31, of Galion, likely overdosed on heroin Wednesday evening. Officers responded to the library after a man was found listless in the men’s bathroom.
They report that when police and paramedics arrive, Disbennett was on the floor of the bathroom with drug paraphernalia on the floor next to him.
Paramedics gave the man naloxone — an antidote used to counter the effects of heroin overdoses — to help revive him.
He was taken to the hospital in Galion and later arrested on a felony charge of possession of heroin and misdemeanor counts of possession of a drug-abuse instrument possession of drug paraphernalia. After being released from the hospital, he was taken to the Crawford County Justice Center.
In Galion, there have been seven EMS (Emergency Medical Service) and police calls for overdoses or possible overdoses since Aug. 1
“We have not had any deaths that I am aware of at this time,” said Galion Police Chief Brian Saterfield.
Saterfield said his officers have not seen any of the amped-up mix of heroin that includes elephant tranquilizers or Fentanyl.
“But not all of the test results are back so I cannot answer that question fully,” said Saterfield. “Our detectives have not received information that any of the heroin has been amped up.”
According to Bucyrus Police Chief Dave Koepke, officers were called to an apartment on Colonial Drive at Heritage Circle at 2:54 p.m. Tuesday.
“We received a call to do a well-check because no one had heard from her for several hours,” Koepke said.
Koepke said an officer arrived at the residence simultaneously with family members of Abbie Riley, a 24-year-old woman, who was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose.
On Monday, a man overdosed and died at the Lighthouse Homeless Shelter in Bucyrus.
“His name was Reuben (Guilkey),” said Koepke of the 39-year-old man.
Koepke said there have been ten overdoses in Bucyrus since Aug. 25 with Riley and Guilkey being the only fatalities. The latest reported overdose, a non-fatal one, happened in Bucyrus on Friday morning.
“We also had two people reported to be overdosing, but were found to have passed out after smoking spice (synthetic marijuana), which is a harmful inhalant,” Koepke said. “They were watching children at the time of the incident.”
As a result of that report, police arrested Jeremy Smith, 23, at 7:02 p.m. on Wednesday for abusing harmful intoxicants, endangering children and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Joshua Smith, 27, for abusing harmful intoxicants and possession drug paraphernalia. They were taken to the Crawford County Justice Center to be held for a court appearance.
Some who knew Riley, the mother of two children, said she was a kind-hearted person trying to beat her drug addiction.
“Abbie could lighten up any room when she walked in and flashed her beautiful smile. She was so kind-hearted and would seriously give you the shirt off her back,” said Trisha Lewis, a friend. “She didn’t like anyone going without anything.”
Vikki Kennedy met Guilkey about a month before his death.
“I hired him to do some odd jobs for me around the house. He was such a polite young man and did an awesome job. I wish I would have known his struggle. Maybe, just maybe, I could have had a talk with him, even if it was me lending him an ear,” Kennedy said. “Our town needs prayer. So, so sad.”