Boardman police charge man with inducing panic after drug overdose

BOARDMAN — Township police arrested a man on an inducing panic charge for a recent drug overdose.

Robert Rosenberg, 22, of Market Street, was arrested on a warrant for the misdemeanor offense Friday, according to a police report. 

The charge stems from an April 19 incident in which police were dispatched to the parking lot of a Southern Boulevard business for a reported overdose. 

There, they said they found Rosenberg lying in the parking lot. He was "unresponsive, breathing shallow, and had a racing heart beat," police reported. 

After being revived, Rosenberg reportedly admitted to police he used heroin and had just shot up two bags of the drug. 

No contraband was located at the scene. 

The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has called on police agencies to stop charging overdose victims with crimes such as inducing panic, saying that overdoses are a medical issue and not a criminal one. 

Charging someone with inducing panic also works around a new state law, called the Good Samaritan Law, that shields overdose victims and those who call 911 for them from misdemeanor drug possession charges.

Some police agencies opt to charge overdose victims with other crimes, arguing that getting addicts into the criminal-justice system is an intervention that can ultimately help them.

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