A South Bethlehem man apparently swallowed the contents of a small baggie of heroin as city police searched him on Ontario Street Tuesday night, according to court papers.
Whatever it was that he may have swallowed, Carlos Lopez-Rodriguez was well enough Thursday to be arraigned on drug and theft charges in front of . He was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bail.
It all began with a call to police that a cellular telephone had been stolen from a woman who lives at 621 Broadway.
The victim told police that a man she knew as Carlos Rodriguez showed up her house early Tuesday evening and asked for a glass of water. When she returned with the water, Rodriguez had disappeared, along with her cell phone, according to court records.
A friend of the victim told police that, within the hour, Rodriguez tried to sell him a phone that matched the description of the phone that had been stolen, an arrest warrant says.
According to the affidavit:
- Bethlehem police spotted Lopez-Rodriguez on the 500 block of Ontario Street at about 10:30. An officer approached and asked if he had stolen a cell phone and Lopez-Rodriguez denied it, then voluntarily emptied his pockets.
- What he took out included a syringe and a metal spoon with gray residue. Police then immediately arrested Lopez-Rodriguez for possession of drug paraphernalia.
- As a police search continued, Lopez-Rodriguez held on to a “suspicious item” in his left hand. When one of the officers tried to take it, he tightened his grip.
- Ultimately, police found that it was three small yellow bags containing an off-white powder that appeared to be heroin. Each bag had red lettering on it that said: “good work.”
- As the police search of Lopez-Rodriguez continued, with his drug items sitting on the porch, the suspect bent over and picked up one of the small yellow bags with his mouth.
- Lopez-Rodriguez refused to open his mouth or spit out the bag. Police called for an ambulance. Before the ambulance arrived, Lopez-Rodriguez relented and spit out the bag, which was “soaking wet,” and was empty. “It is unknown if the powder was ingested.”
- The substances in the baggies did test positive for opium, the root ingredient of heroin.
Lopez-Rodriguez, 38, of 715 Broadway, was charged with theft, tampering with evidence, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.