Safford police were dispatched to the Hurricane Car Wash on Monday, August 19th at approximately 1:00 p.m., to check on a man who was reportedly passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival a Safford officer observed a tan-colored sedan parked in the vacuum area of the car wash. The vehicle’s engine was running and the headlights were on as well as the tail lights. The officer drove around the vehicle and parked in front of it. The male driver was slumped over in the driver’s seat. As the officer approached the passenger side window he could see that the man was breathing, but his breathing seemed to be abnormal as if he was gasping for air. The officer could see that the man was clutching something and had a thin tan colored rope tied around his left leg near the kneecap.
The officer walked around to the driver’s side and knocked on the window. The man in the vehicle woke up startled and confused. As the man woke up and moved, the officer saw a syringe in his lap with a dark substance inside. The officer opened the car door and the driver asked if he should put up his hands. The officer explained that he had come to check on the man and wanted to make sure that he wasn’t overdosing or in need of medical attention.
The officer had the man step out of the car and placed him in handcuffs. The man told the officer that he had injected heroin in the vehicle. He said that he was supposed to have met his wife so she could take him to rehab. While speaking to the man, the officer noticed that he had an extensive amount of track marks on both legs and on his left hand.
When the officer searched the man’s vehicle he found a syringe loaded with 4 ml of heroin, an additional .4 grams of heroin, and a glass meth bong.
The vehicle the man was driving was registered to his wife. The officer tried calling her but did not make contact. The vehicle was towed from the scene.
The man was transported to the Safford Police Station and consented to a blood draw, but after examining his arms and legs, authorities decided to get a urine sample instead of a blood specimen because the man’s veins were blown and collapsed. The man told authorities that because of his vein situation, he used a skin pinch technique to inject himself with drugs. The man explained the technique as pinching his skin and shooting the heroin just under the skin and not into a vein.
Charges are pending the result of the lab tests.