December 21, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Medina police save another from heroin overdose with Narcan antidote

MEDINA — Medina police may have saved the life of one of two Lafayette Township brothers on heroin by administering the antidote Narcan.

Police reported finding Brent N. Barnum, 30, and Bradley J. Barnum, 27, both of the 6700 block of Ballash Road, on the bathroom floor of a Lafayette Road trailer Sunday.

Officer Michael Lyons administered a dose of Narcan to Brent Barnum, who appeared to be in the worst condition.

Lyons said Brent Barnum was unresponsive with shallow breathing and a weak pulse.

Narcan is a trade name for naloxone, a drug that blocks opiate receptors in the brain, allowing overdose victims to resume breathing almost immediately.

This is the third time Medina officers have administered Narcan since Gov. John Kasich signed a law in March allowing police and other first-responders to carry the antidote.

Brent Barnum was revived and turned over to the care of a Medina Life Support Team and transported along with his brother to Medina Hospital for further treatment.

“I want to commend Sgt. Patrick Sloan and the officers of his patrol shift for their great job on this case. They are a great team,” Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said.

The Barnum brothers were arrested on possession of heroin charges, a fifth-degree felony, after they were released from Medina Hospital the day of the incident.

The owner of the trailer where the men were found, Kim D. McNutt, 51, was arrested Wednesday on a possession of heroin charge, a fifth-degree felony. Officers served a search warrant and found suspected heroin, syringes and other drug paraphernalia, according to Medina police.

Brent Barnum has been released from Medina County Jail on bond. Bradley Barnum and McNutt are being held at the jail on 10 percent of $10,000 bond each.

“We are glad to save a life, but there is no free lunch,” Berarducci said. “By arresting a heroin addict, we are giving the court and the family the opportunity to impact on the addict’s outcome; and we are giving an addict a second chance but with accountability.

“Anything else is a waste of our time and resources.”

Detective Mary Gross is leading the follow-up investigation and is being assisted by Detective Dan Warner of the Medina County Drug Task Force.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or

  • Realistic

    Better off to just let these people go.
    Reviving with Narcan will be all well and good until one of these addicts becomes instantly violent upon being revived. Search it for yourself – reviving with Narcan is VERY dangerous. There are many stories of patients becoming very violent when revived.

  • pollos

    I would like the Gazette to follow up on these people who are saved and what happens to them. I hope the brushes with death are enough to shock them into recovery, but I’m not so certain.
    About 15 years ago, I remember talking to a devastated N.C. cop who had responded to a car crash where the driver still had a heroin needle in his arm. The cop did CPR and brought the heroin addict driver back to live. Two years later, that same driver — high on heroin — slammed into a minivan, killing a 3-year-old girl. The cop, who hadn’t thought anything about reviving the heroin addict, now had to wrestle with what would have happened if she had let him die…the 3-year-old would have lived.
    Like I said — I hope these folks being saved go on to lead successful lives, but I have my doubts.

  • Wasting Resources

    Just another example of Berarducci being his usual PR hound self… you see an article every time LST or an area FD “saves” someone from a purposeful overdose. Such an act that is a conscious decision and here we go wasting resources on individuals who KNOW BETTER.

  • Buffalo

    @Wasting Resources: I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. I am pleased that the police did what they were trained and paid to do – the thing is, now what? You’ve got two geniuses who chose to use drugs and are now addicts who will most likely use again and overdose again. I feel no pity for them; THEY chose to use drugs and are now reaping the consequences – everybody knows that drugs are harmful and they made a poor choice that they (and their families, friends, and taxpayers who are providing Narcan) now have to live with. How many times should police, fire, EMS, and hospital staff try to save them? As Chief Beraducci clearly stated, “…we are giving an addict a second chance but with accountability. Anything else is a waste of our time and resources.”

  • Realistic

    Let these people die.

  • StMichaelsScale

    Where would I be able to get a newspaper with this article?

  • Nick Glunt

    You can stop by the Gazette office or visit most gas stations or supermarkets in Medina County for a copy.

  • pollos

    I disagree. I think there is a big difference here — LST and FD are knows to the public as life savers and that makes them inherently more popular than police. Police are often seen as the bad guys, particularly in the small population that gets arrested. Here, with use of Narcan, the police are flipping that idea around. They are the rescuers — but they are also the law enforcers. Like I said in an earlier post, I would like to know what happens to the people saved. But let me add here, I would also like to know what this means for police relations in the community. My hopes is that police make positive relationships with the families of drug users…and that those relationships ultimately yield information about heroin pipelines into the city that can be shut by police.
    I like the direction the police department has taken in recent years. From my view, they’ve ramped up their game to take on the evolving needs of a town that’s exploded in growth over the past 30 years.

  • Aurora

    Addiction is a disease. Everyone seems quick to judge on how “addicts” should not be saved which is sad. Society does not want to treat persons who have an overdose and quick write it off as they deserved it. With this type of mentality wouldn’t it be acceptable not to treat overweight persons who have heart attacks because they made poor life decisions by not eating properly and not exercising regularly? I believe everyone should be able to receive emergency care if available. Persons need to remember that these people have families and friends who love them and stating to just let anyone die is cold and judgemental. How would you feel if that was your son?

  • Speakthetruth

    Yeah, they saved him and then arrested him, nice work! (eye roll)

  • Speakthetruth

    You might change your mind if that was your son/daughter.