Student Arrest Highlights Heroin Use – Poughkeepsie Journal

FDR Teen faces felonies, officials say youth drug use is up.

Written by Sarah Bradshaw

HYDE PARK, December 16, 2011, 10:25 pm
— The arrest of an 18-year-old Franklin D. Roosevelt High student accused of
bringing 91 small envelopes of heroin into the school comes amid increased use
of the drug by youths, a concern among parents.

Hyde Park resident Sequamn Olahn Storts is due in town court Wednesday on several felonies, including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and
second-degree assault and attempted assault. He also faces misdemeanor charges
of criminal mischief and resisting arrest. He also faces suspension, the school
district said.
Police said Storts became “enraged” when school resource officer Martin Monaco questioned him in the principal’s office Thursday about the heroin. He allegedly jumped onto adesk, kicked items to the floor, threw a coffee mug at Monaco and tried to
escape out an office window, police said.
During the arrest, Monaco was bitten in the hand, sending the officer to Saint Francis Hospital with minor injuries.

Hyde Park parent David Minihane said his family moved to Dutchess County in 2006 from New York City to“get away from” this type of crime in schools.

“I’m very disturbed and disappointed … and I hope he is not allowed back to school. It’s not fair to the other students,” said Minihane, the father of a junior.

Heroin use among young people in Dutchess County has increased substantially, local police and counselors say. Michael North, director of the county Department of Mental
Hygiene’s Intensive Treatment Alternative Program, was quoted in the Journal in
August as saying, “Heroin has become a middle-class phenomenon here.”

About 50 percent of his clients are addicts, up from 28 percent in 2009.

The Hyde Park school district’s policy is not to comment directly on student disciplinary actions.

However, Superintendent Greer Fischer said administrators will follow “the absolute most stringent penalty” possible, which in Storts’ case could be “suspension with
recommendation of a superintendent’s hearing.”

She added, “We take students in possession of any and all drugs very seriously and will do
everything in our power to address it and keep it out of schools.”

Fischer said the incident was contained in the office, away from students.

Storts also was carrying cash and a box cutter knife, police allege.

He was booked at the town police station Thursday and arraigned in town court before Justice David Steinberg.

He was sent to Dutchess County Jail and had not posted bail, set at $25,000 cash or bond, as of late Friday.
Hyde Park police Chief Charles Broe Sr. said the investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.

“Heroin years ago wasn’t a ‘designer drug.’ It had a bad reputation. That to me over the years has changed,” the chief said.

Reach Sarah Bradshaw at sbradshaw@poughkeepsiejournal.com
or 845-437-4811.

 

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