Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009
By Shavonne Potts
Two Rockwell teens face larceny charges after taking bottles of cough syrup off the shelves in Wal-Mart and drinking them right in the store, according to Salisbury Police.
Ponziano Ascensione Purvis, 19, of 155 Henderson Drive, and Steven Roseman, 16, of 500 W. Park Drive, were arrested shortly after midnight Thursday morning.
Store personnel said they caught the two inside the store consuming several bottles of Robitussin cough medicine.
Teens abuse certain over-the-counter cold and cough medicines to get high and experience hallucinations.
When Officer Brian Cooper arrived on the scene around midnight, the two were in the parking lot.
The younger teen, Roseman, struggled with Cooper, hitting him in the head as Cooper tried to restrain him, according to police reports.
Purvis complied as the officer handcuffed him and placed him in a patrol car, police said. He grew sleepy before officers could book him into the Rowan County Detention Center and eventually passed out. He was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
Salisbury Police charged both with larceny. Roseman was also charged with assault on a government official.
Roseman is being held at the Rowan County Detention Center under $1,500 bond.
Their next court appearance will be April 2.
A study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America estimated that 2.4 million teens ó about 1 in 10 ó got high on cough medicines in 2005. According to Biopsychiatry.com, that puts it on a par with cocaine and slightly above methamphetamine.