BETHEL PARK, Pa. — A Bethel Park couple is facing child endangerment charges after police said their 1-year-old son was found to have drugs in his system after multiple trips to the emergency room.
According to a police criminal complaint, the investigation started after David Bianco and Ashley Hammill called 911 and told emergency responders that their son was unresponsive, not breathing and turning blue around 1:15 p.m. on July 10.
When medics got to their home on Wellsview Road, which is located near South Hills Village Mall, investigators said the couple told them that the boy had “choked on food.” The boy stopped breathing several times in the ambulance, so they diverted to St. Clair Hospital and had the child life-flighted to Children’s Hospital.
Just 13 days later, the boy’s parents reported the same emergency to 911 again. During transport inside the ambulance, police said the child again stopped breathing several times and had to be taken to Children’s Hospital.
In both instances, according to the criminal complaint, medics noted they didn’t see any food or blockage in the boy’s airways. They reported his symptoms were not consistent with choking, and he “continually lost consciousness and stopped breathing” despite having an apparent clear airway.
When the child’s urine test came back, doctors said they found methamphetamine, fentanyl and norfentanyl in his system.
At that point, police interviewed the boy’s parents. During the investigation, police said they learned both Bianco and Hammill use heroin and that several heroin “kits” containing drugs and paraphernalia were inside their home.
Authorities then searched the couple’s home and found numerous drugs and paraphernalia, including:
- Open empty heroin stamp bags
- Heroin syringes with needles exposed
- Suspected full heroin stamp bags
- Suspected methamphetamine pipes
- Vile of suspected methamphetamine
Police said the drugs were found “mixed in” with the child’s belongings and throughout his play areas and bedroom.
Both parents are facing the following charges: endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment and possession of a controlled substance.
Bianco and Hammill were booked into the Allegheny County Jail and are awaiting preliminary hearings.
Cox Media Group