BUCKHANNON – A Lewis County man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly smoking heroin in a vehicle with his two-year-old child in the back seat.
Lucas J. Ridgeway, 30, of Weston, was arrested Friday, Nov. 5 for child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Patrolman Jacob Garrison with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Nov. 5, 2021, at 9:42 p.m., Garrison was dispatched to the Buckhannon Walmart for a welfare check. Upon arriving on scene, Garrison noted Upshur EMS had awakened Ridgeway, who was responsive.
After speaking with EMS personnel and witnesses at the scene, Garrison discovered Ridgeway had allegedly been inside a vehicle, passed out behind the steering wheel with burned aluminum foil on his lap and a lighter in his hand.
EMS personnel said a two-year-old child, identified as Ridgeway’s son, was in the rear seat secured with a child car seat. Garrison asked Ridgeway if he had any other drug paraphernalia or illegal controlled substances on him, and he answered no. However, during a probable cause search of his wallet, which was concealed on his person, officers allegedly found one “Buprenorphine/Naloxone strip and two white wax paper folds” reportedly known to contain heroin, the complaint states.
Ridgeway allegedly admitted to smoking heroin but told police he did so earlier in the day, and he had just been holding the aluminum foil prior to the welfare check.
Based upon witness statements regarding how Ridgeway was positioned within the vehicle, it did appear he allegedly smoked the heroin within the vehicle, exposing his child to the fumes and causing Ridgeway to pass out, Garrison wrote in the report.
Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $25,000 cash only, and as of Wednesday, Ridgeway remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority website.
The potential penalty for a conviction of child neglect creating serious risk of bodily injury/death is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine ranging between $1,000 and $3,000, or both.