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Heroin Overdose Victim Will Not Face Drug Charges, Police Captain Says

But John E. Redden III was charged with endangering the welfare of a child - his two-year-old son, police say

A Manchester man who was revived by emergency medical personnel following a suspected heroin overdose will not face drug charges because of New Jersey’s Overdose Prevention Act, Police Captain Lisa Parker said.

But John E. Redden III, 28, will be charged with endangering the welfare of a child - his two-year-old son - under his care, she said.

Police responded to a Briar Hill Apartments residence on Tuesday night to find Redden unresponsive. Redden was visiting a friend’s apartment when the apparent heroin overdose occurred. That friend called authorities for help and faces no charges related to the incident, Parker said.

Emergency medical personnel administered Narcan, an opioid overdose antidote, which is believed to have saved Redden, she said.

Police found six wax folds of heroin on Redden, but he will not face drug charges under the Overdose Prevention Act signed into law on May 2, 2013.

The purpose of the Overdose Prevention Act is to encourage persons to seek immediate medical assistance whenever a drug overdose occurs, according to the state Attorney General's Office.

In the past, there have been instances where persons were reluctant or unwilling to call authorities for help for fear that it might lead to an arrest or prosecution for illegal drug use or possession.

But Redden was charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child because the Overdose Protection Act does not provide immunity for all crimes. Redden's bail was set at $35,000 with no 10 percent option, Parker said.

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