Newsmaker of the Year: Rap on car window at right time, right place & for right reason meant innocent baby's rescue from down and out opioid-dependent mother & boyfriend

This is the first of three profiles on the Headline Surfer Newsmakers of the Year. This segment features Volusia County Sheriff's Deputy Blaine Lewis, who, on Oct. 24, came to the aid of an 8-month-old baby. The second segment features New Smyrna Beach Police Detective Nikki Diffin, whose intervention also saved a baby from physical abuse by a drug-dependent mother. These two women cops share the Headline Surfer award for Newsmaker of the Year. An honorable mention for Headline Surfer Newsmaker of the Year has been bestowed upon Seminole County Sheriff's Deputy Fred Hilaire, who saved the lives of two opioid-dependent women in separate overdose situations while on patrol. All three cops will be featured together in a wrap-up story. 
Headline Surfer

DELAND, Fla. -- It was a rap on a car window that that very well may have saved a baby's life, thanks to an astute Volusia County Sheriff's deputy, who was in the right place at the right time and for the right reason.

Despite fogged-up windows and the glare of overhead lights at 3:15 in the morning on a Tuesday in the Circle K convenience store parking lot, 2095 E. New York Ave., it was rapping on the door with  her extended baton that woke the baby up crying and sweating profusely. The 8-month-old hungry baby's first instinct was to reach for her bottle -- which sadly, was empty, of course. And almost immediately, it became obvious from the putrid smell that the baby's diaper had not been changed for quite some time, contents from within leaking through the soggy bunched up ends. The crying baby was dirty with no signs she had been washed at all.

And while this innocent baby girl woke on her own from the deputy's rapping on the glass window, she literally had to shake the adults slumped in the front seat to get them to wake up.

The mother was semi-conscious in the front seat, unable to put more than a sentence or two in a coherent way in a hushed voice. She had trouble spelling out her own name due to impairment. A search of her person revealed a clear plastic baggie with white residue in her left front pocket. It tested positive for opiates.The man next to her was just as incoherent. With other deputies now on-scene, was told to exit the car. 

A search revealed a clear plastic baggie with white residue in her left front pocket. Deputy Lewis tested the residue in the baggie utilizing a NARK #22 test kit, which yielded a presumptive positive for the presence of opiates. The defendant was subsequently charged with possession of opiates and later transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail.

Because the male driver had full control of the vehicle and the key in the ignition, Deputy Lewis placed him under arrest for driving while license suspended. As he exited the vehicle, deputies observed track marks on this inner arms indicating intravenous drug use. A search revealed a spent syringe in his left front pocket.

Lewis tested the syringe utilizing a NARK #22 test kit, which yielded a presumptive positive for the presence of opiates. He was subsequently charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and later transported to the jail.

The child was placed into the care of the Department of Children and Families.




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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.