MOUNT HOLLY – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Cherry Hill man was indicted today for abandoning a person who was experiencing a heroin overdose in Evesham last year.
A Burlington County Grand Jury found that Peter Baron Jr., 35, “did recklessly engage in conduct which created a substantial risk or death to another person.” Baron was indicted on one count of Endangering Another Person (Third Degree). The indictmen was returned today and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Superior Court.
The investigation revealed that Baron carried the victim from a car and placed him inside the foyer of a home on Bartram Road just after 11 a.m. on October 17, 2017. He then fled without calling for medical help.
A witness alerted Evesham Township Police, and responding officers revived the victim by administering multiple doses of Narcan.
New Jersey enacted a law in 2013 known as the Overdose Prevention Act, which encourages people to report drug overdoses without fear of being arrested. Under the measure, known informally as the Good Samaritan law, those who call 911 to report overdoses will be immune to arrest and prosecution for drug possession or usage. The law also applies to a person who is overdosing.
“Remember this phrase: ‘Don’t run, call 911’,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “There is no acceptable reason for anyone who witnesses an overdose to fail to seek help for the person who is suffering. The victim in this case was extremely fortunate that police were alerted and effectively utilized their training to save his life.”
Baron is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bethany Deal, supervisor of the BCPO Grand Jury/Screening Unit. The case was investigated by the Evesham Township Police Department.
An indictment is merely an accusation.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.