Porterville toddler hospitalized after drinking methadone


A strange scene greeted officers when they arrived in a Porterville neighborhood Friday night. In a small home in the back of a lot, a father held his 2-year-old daughter, but the girl was barely moving.

Dominic Barteau with the Porterville Police Department said, "Pretty lethargic. They called EMS, and medical personnel responded. The child started having some seizures."

Turns out, police believe the girl found some methadone in the house and got into it. The drug commonly used to help heroin addicts kick the habit had an alluring look for a little girl.

"It appears it was in liquid form," said Barteau. "I believe they stated it was pink in color. It was in a prescription bottle with a child safety cap on it, but somehow the child was able to get in it and actually drink it."

Neighbors watched the whole scene unfold. One of them, who didn't want to be identified, told ABC30 he saw the ambulance arrive. Within two minutes, he saw the little girl get in, and the sirens started up again.

"It's always scary. It's always scary. Not surprising, though."

Police arrested the girl's father, 36-year-old Joe Gomez. They say he didn't call for help immediately after suspecting his little girl drank the methadone, instead waiting for the effects to kick in.

While his daughter was recovering at the hospital, Gomez was booked at the Bob Wiley detention facility. He's facing felony child endangerment charges. It'll be up to the district attorney's office to determine what kind of case to file against him.

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