Police & Fire

Heroin Overdose in Pope John Rectory Highlights Opiate Abuse Crisis, say Sparta Police

b23a35461435787a0942_IMG_4118.JPG
The rectory at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta Credits: Jennifer Dericks
b23a35461435787a0942_IMG_4118.JPG

SPARTA, NJ – A 22-year-old Sparta woman nearly overdosed on heroin in the shower of the Pope John XXIII High School rectory earlier this month, according to police records.

The May 3 incident, detailed in a recording of a 911 call obtained by TAP into Sparta, resulted in Sparta Police responding to a frantic call by a woman who told them she was a Pope John teacher whose daughter had “overdosed” in the rectory.

The woman, who identified herself as Karen Delea, made the call at 9:22 a.m. “I think my daughter overdosed in the rectory,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

In a written report of the incident, police said the woman’s daughter, Hannah Delea, admitted she “had snorted heroin and flushed the rest down the toilet.”

Her mother told the dispatcher her daughter was on the floor of the tub upstairs in the Catholic school’s rectory. “I’m at Pope John,” she said. “My daughter was here taking a shower. I‘m a teacher here. She’s on the ground in the shower.”

During the exchange with the dispatcher, Karen Delea said her daughter’s eyes were open and her lips were blue. She alternately said there was somebody there with her and that she was alone.

While waiting for emergency personnel to reach the scene, the dispatcher asked the mother to assess whether her daughter was breathing.  At first, Delea said no. 

“I don’t know what she did,” she told the dispatcher as she screamed her daughter’s name.

Eventually, Hannah Delea can be heard responding to her mother, who told the dispatcher that her daughter told her she was “just tired.” 

The police report said the daughter was found “conscious and alert” when first-responders reached the scene. The report also said Hannah Delea “stated she had no water at her house and Father McHugh had allowed her to shower at the rectory, since her mother worked at the school.” The Rev. Msgr Kiernan McHugh is president of the school administration.

McHugh, who lives in the rectory where the incident occurred, did not respond to a request for comment.

Richard Sokerka, the director of communication for the Diocese of Paterson’s Catholic Schools confirmed an incident occurred but offered little more in the way of comment. “Given this is a police matter, we can confirm that there was a medical emergency that was health related at Pope John on May 3 and a 911 call was made for immediate medical assistance,” he said.

Sparta Police Officers Daniel Florio, Timothy Lynott and Frank Schomp responded to the scene.

Before ending the call when emergency assistance arrived, the dispatcher is heard asking for the caller’s name and address. Sparta Water Utility Administrative Assistant Denise Amato said the water was not shut off at her address on the day of the incident.

She said work was done to replace the meter on May 11, requiring the water to be temporarily shut off there, but not on May 3. Township officials also said the apartments at 106 Main Street do not have sub-meters so they could not be individually shut off.

Hannah Delea was transported to Newton Medical Center for evaluation, said police.

Sparta Police Lt. John-Paul Beebe said the incident revealed the importance of people quickly reporting possible drug overdoses. “You should always call the police first and never handle any narcotics or paraphernalia yourself,” he said. 

Beebe went on to explain the law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in May 2013 specifies anyone who calls in a suspected drug overdose is shielded from prosecution. “Instead of viewing them as someone who has committed a crime, it properly views it for what it is … a person who is in a life threatening situation that needs immediate medical attention.  There is no need to attempt to clean up the scene before calling for help.”

Regarding the incident at the Pope John rectory, Beebe said, “The heroin overdose in one of our local high schools is an alarming life threatening continuation of what we are seeing not only in our community but across the state and nation.” 

Beebe said the 2014 Governor’s Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiates Use by New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults identifies heroin and opiate abuse as “the number one health care crisis,” confronting the state.

This report notes a 5-year increase of more than 200 percent in the number of admissions to treatment programs for prescription drug abuse. That number rises to a 700 percent increase over the last decade, according to the report.

“New Jersey has some of the highest octane heroin there is, with purity levels that have been found to be as high as 95 percent,” said Beebe. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency the national average for heroin purity is around 31 percent. New Jersey averages between 40 and 50 percent, said the DEA. 

“The heroin epidemic is escalating, with no end in sight,” said Beebe. “As long as the price of this drug continues to plummet and the demand continues to soar, communities such as ours will see an increase in overdoses, fatalities and collateral crimes.”

Sparta Police have partnered with the Center for Prevention and Counseling in Newton, according to Beebe.  “It is here that we make the majority of our referrals to individuals with substance abuse problems.”

He encouraged any resident with questions or concerns about substance abuse “or the toll it is taking on our community,” to contact the Sparta Police at 973-729-6121. “For all emergencies as always dial 911,” said the lieutenant.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

July 16, 2018

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

Sparta Fire Trucks Have Adequate Access through New LMCC Gates

SPARTA, NJ — Emergency equipment can access the newly refurbished Sparta gate on West Shore Trail in the Lake Mohawk reservation, according to the Lake Mohawk Country Club Manager John Stanley. At the June 11 Sparta Township meeting, councilman Jerry Murphy raised a concern about the new gate not being sufficiently wide to allow a fire truck to pass through. 

In response to an ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Elizabeth Man Gets DWI

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Elizabeth was stopped for crossing the line on Tomahawk Trail.  Sparta Police Officer Jonathan Poon stopped Eduardo Idiaquez, 45, on July 8, around 7:30 p.m. police said.

He was taken to Sparta Police Department headquarters for processing and breath testing.  Idiaquez was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to maintain a lane, driving while ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Carousel_image_50e2ca549a0aca1616bd_nj_blood_services

Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_bdb5745746764dec42d1_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_42776b9cbb4ed47ca5de_paintbrush-pallet-

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_43e01e4e18a7a89ca0c9_paintbrush-pallet-

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Don't Miss Out on this DOUBLE Sparta 4BR OPEN HOUSE Weekend

Team Nest Builder offers not one, but TWO enchanting homes this weekend---185 Milton Road on Saturday, and 28 Waters Edge on Sunday (1-3pm both days.)  Seeking the perfect Sparta home? Make plans today! Want to learn more? Read on!

185 Milton Road: A Stately Sparta 4BR 2.5 Bath on 6+ Beautiful Acres

You’ll fall in love with this gorgeous 4BR, 2.5 Bathroom ...

Hit the Sparta 4th of July Parade and Lake Mohawk Fireworks

It’s time for the skies to explode in beautiful color as crowds “ooh” and “ahh”! Here, Team Nest Builder shares the scoop on the this week’s Lake Mohawk fireworks display and the Sparta 4th of July Parade.  Join in the fun!

Lake Mohawk Country Club Fireworks

Grab your viewing spot early!  Fireworks begin at dusk on Tuesday, July 3rd.

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

It's Time to Swim, Bike and Run with Pass It Along!

 

 

 

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.”  – Dave Scott (Triathlete)

Join us on Saturday, July 28 at 7:00 am at the Lake Mohawk Country Club for the 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon! ...

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 Meeting

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 meeting video.

 

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...