CINCINNATI – A man convicted on two counts of child endangerment after he overdosed on heroin while caring for two children at McDonald’s was sentenced Monday to 180 days in jail.
Robert Palmer, 37, of Dillsboro, Ind., was found unconscious and not breathing in the play area of the McDonald's at 5425 N. Bend Road on Sunday, March 9. He was with Tamica Jeffers, 33, also of Dillsboro, who was conscious, but unresponsive.
They collapsed in front of their two children, ages 6 and 8, according to Green Twp. police.
Restaurant employees and customers used a defibrillator on Palmer for eight minutes until paramedics arrived.
Jeffers and Palmer were taken to Mercy West Hospital, where they each told Cpl. T. Icenogle that they had used heroin. Officers still don't know exactly when the two used the drug.
First responders thought Palmer had suffered a heart attack and died, but the Mack Life Squad was able to revive him. Until Jeffers was interviewed at the hospital, those at the McDonald's who saw her assumed she'd had a seizure.
"It's an unusual set of circumstances," Chief Bart West said. "I've never heard of a case where we had kids in a restaurant like this where someone overdosed on heroin."
"Their obligation is to take care of the kids and make sure they're safe, and in this case they were using heroin and the children could have been ... anything could have happened to them," West said.
Jeffers is expected to continue her trial on April 21.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.