Cops: Man shooting up heroin crashes into Slidell PD vehicle
Dave Cohen Reporting
Slidell cops say a man apparently shooting up heroin while he was driving slammed his car into a police vehicle.
"A Slidell Police officer was monitoring traffic, and was parked on the shoulder of Fremaux Avenue," Detective Daniel Seuzeneau told WWL First News. "The officer stated he looked in his rear view mirror and observed 32-year-old Ronald Ceplina (below), who was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS, veer off the roadway and head straight for his 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle."
He says the car was traveling an estimated 40 miles per hour when it "plowed into" the police SUV.
"The impact pushed the police officer's vehicle several feet," according to Seuzeneau.
The officer and the suspect suffered what police describe as minor injuries.
The detective says the officer could see that the driver was looking down just before the crash. When he asked the man why he was distracted, the officers say he could not get a clear answer.
"Shockingly, police discovered a fresh syringe, along with suspected heroin, inside of the vehicle. The syringe had, what appeared to be, dried blood on the needle," Seuzeneau explained.
He says they also found fresh injection marks on the suspects arm.
"It is speculated that Ceplina was distracted due to the fact that he was injecting heroin at the time of the crash," the detective said.
Louisiana State Police investigated the crash, and cited the suspect with carless operation, driving under suspension, and no seat belt. In addition to his traffic charges, Slidell Police booked him for possession of a schedule 1 narcotic (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said, "What disturbs me the most about this incident is that this occurred during the time when young children were getting off of school busses and walking home. We were lucky no was seriously injured, or even killed."