Police: Baby sent to hospital after overdosing on heroin in Altoona

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ)– A 10-month old baby was transported to UPMC in Pittsburgh after the infant allegedly got into a heroin stash and overdosed.

Dustin Martell, 35, of Altoona faces a felony count of endangering the welfare of children and misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, use of drug paraphernalia, in possession of controlled substance by a person not regulated and also make repairs/selling/ect. of an offensive weapon.

Police arrived at the 3000 block of Maple Avenue for a report of a baby that overdosed. Martell spoke to the police when they arrived at his house. Martell told police that he was sleeping when he woke up to the baby crying and screaming, according to the complaint. He figured the baby was on heroin because when he picked her up she was acting very strange.

Martell went to neighbors, knocking on the doors and asking if any of them had Narcan. After getting the Narcan from a neighbor, he then administered it to the baby.

The child’s mother, Christine Baker, told police that she was away at Dollar General and saw AMED and police at her house when she got back. However, police say after speaking to the neighbor who gave the Narcan to Martell, they found out that she was the one that actually administered the Narcan to the baby. She ran upstairs to hide from the police when they arrived because she thought both she and Martell would be arrested.

Throughout the investigation, Martell gave police two small empty plastic bags that are known to hold drugs, a syringe that was in his pants pocket and he told police that there is drug paraphernalia in the house. Police also say they overheard a conversation Martell was having with AMED personnel and they heard him say that there was heroin inside the house.

Another neighbor was seen by police putting an item in Baker’s car. Police saw a black and silver box on the driver’s side floor which they suspected had drugs in it. A search warrant for both the car and the house then led to police finding controlled substances, a large zip bag that had 15 small bags with suspected heroin in them, various drug paraphernalia and black brass knuckles.

Even though Martell told police that the baby got into his heroin, they did not find any drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain view that the infant could have gotten into, according to the complaint. The baby was transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for further evaluation.

He currently resides in Blair County Prison awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 20. He also has a monetary bail value set at $100,000.

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