Rock Hill dad accused of using heroin with child in car

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJune 25, 2014 

Samuel Rhodes

A Rock Hill dad was arrested Tuesday after police say they found him sitting in a car outside a motel room moments after he finished using heroin while his daughter was asleep in the back seat.

On Tuesday, the mother of a 6-year-old girl reported that her husband, Samuel Rhodes III, 33, left their home at 11 p.m. Monday with their daughter in a silver Dodge Caravan, according to a Rock Hill Police report. He told his wife he was going to get milk with the girl but had not returned and would not answer his phone.

The mother told police Rhodes had never taken their daughter in the past, and she did not believe he would harm the girl. She did say he struggled with an addiction to heroin in the past.

Police searched motels along Cherry and Riverview roads, where they found a Dodge Caravan parked outside a room at the Bestway Inn, police documents show. They found Rhodes in the driver’s seat, Thomas Jacob Duncan in the passenger’s seat and the girl asleep in a back seat. Police removed the two adults from the car and found needles in both their pockets.

Rhodes admitted to officers that he had been doing heroin. Police charged Rhodes with unlawful conduct toward a child and returned the girl to her mother.

York County drug agents also filed three drug possession charges against Rhodes, who was being held Wednesday at the York County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.

Duncan, 28, also faces several drug charges and a Family Court bench warrant.

Rhodes’ mother, Julie Rhodes, said her son would never intentionally harm his children, though she acknowledged that he has battled an addiction to heroin for several years. Each time her son is sent to prison, Julie Rhodes said she asks judges to require a long-term stay in a rehabilitation clinic. It hasn’t happened yet.

“As we know, without help, he would go back,” she said. “That’s what happens every time. It’s heartbreaking.”

He has been a patient at Keystone Substance Abuse Center in Rock Hill, she said, and a treatment center in Lancaster.

“We were trying to get him some help,” she said. “Who knows why it starts?”

Heroin addicts who seek treatment often undergo a series of intensive withdrawals that include restlessness, trouble sleeping, bone and joint aches, stomach pains, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and tremors, said Bonnie Gladden, associate director of inpatient services at Keystone. The withdrawals are “not life-threatening, but it’s not comfortable,” she said.

Staff at Keystone assess patients to determine if they qualify for inpatient treatment, which lasts for seven to 10 days and includes exposing clients to medication that will help detoxify their bodies. From there, staff members encourage them to enroll in outpatient services, where they can be placed in intensive or more generalized programs that specifically meet their needs.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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