Chesco parents charged after infant son hospitalized for opioid overdose

Jim Melwert
September 27, 2019 - 1:26 pm
Kristen Bristow and Charles Salzman

Chester County District Attorney's Office

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CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — An 11-month-old remains in the pediatric intensive care unit days after the infant was given two doses of Narcan.

The boy’s parents, 30-year-old Kristen Bristow and 31-year-old Charles Salzman, are in Chester County Prison on several charges, including aggravated assault of a child less than 6 and endangering the welfare of a child.

On Wednesday, Salzman and Bristow were in their car in her parents’ driveway in West Fallowfield Township. Her mother, the child’s grandmother, came out to check on them. Charles Gaza, chief of staff for the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, says she found all three people in the car, unresponsive.

“The 11-month-old was blue from lack of oxygen,” explained Gaza. “She immediately called 911, EMS responded and the child was given Narcan twice and was revived by the Narcan.”

Narcan works by clearing opioids off receptors in the brain, so the infant would only be revived if he had opioids in his system.

Related: Pa. Department of Health distributes free naloxone to assist in opioid treatment

He remains hospitalized and it’s unclear what kind of damage the drugs may have done.

Gaza says they’re still investigating how the child ingested the opioids. 

The criminal complaint says Salzman, the father, gave them a bottle cap, which he says the boy may have had in his mouth. Investigators say there was a substance that looked like heroin or fentanyl on that bottle cap.

The complaint says Salzman and Bristow gave conflicting statements, but the child’s grandmother told police when she went out to the car, Bristow was apparently asleep in the front seat. Salzman was “sitting on a child car seat” in the back seat of the car, “not sleeping, but not reacting.”

Police say they found several baggies of a white powdery substance and drug paraphernalia from the home.