The stepfather and mother of a 3 1/2 -year-old girl who swallowed a potent combination of heroin, cocaine and methadone were charged Tuesday night after an intensive investigation by Buffalo homicide detectives.
The parents of Crystal Roman, who continues to fight for her life in Children's Hospital where she was listed in critical condition this morning, admitted to police they repeatedly smoked crack starting Friday and continuing through Saturday night.
But they denied giving Crystal the drugs that have left her struggling to emerge from a coma since Sunday when she was first discovered unconscious in their home at 257 Plymouth Ave.
Lawrence Crummie and Leonor Roman admitted that there were drugs in the house to Homicide Detective Sgt. Anthony Costantino and Detectives Charles Aronica and Raniero Masecchia late Tuesday.
The detectives on Sunday had removed dozens of hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia -- all within reach of children -- from the house, according to Capt. Joseph Riga, chief of the Homicide Bureau.
"Crummie is an intravenous drug user. He told us he mixes cocaine and heroin and injects it into himself," Riga said. "He also admitted to illegally obtaining methadone and that he has a habit of taking the methadone from its original container and pouring it in other empty medicinal type containers."
Riga said Crummie and Ms. Roman claim the baby "inadvertently was given some methadone, but that doesn't explain how she received the other substances."
Crummie, 42, was charged with second-degree assault, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly leaving drugs where children could have access to them, Riga said.
Ms. Roman, 19, was charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
City Court Judge Shirley Troutman today ordered Crummie to remain jailed without bail on the charges and released Ms. Roman on an appearance ticket. She is to return to court April 8 for further proceedings.
Riga said the parents admitted they had used drugs. That contradicts a statement made by Ms. Roman on Tuesday when said she never used illegal substances.
"Both admitted to smoking crack for a long period of time before the child ingested drugs," Riga said.
Crummie went to Police Headquarters late Tuesday afternoon; he was questioned and arrested Tuesday night.
Crummie has a long history of drug involvement, Riga said. However, police did not have information on Ms. Roman's background.
"The mother was aware of what was going on," Riga said.
Police believe the child ingested heroin, cocaine and methadone.
Ms. Roman said earlier that Crummie stored his liquid methadone in the refrigerator of their home but that it was kept out of reach of her four children.
"I don't know how she got the drugs. I know Larry would never try to hurt my baby," Ms. Roman had said previously.
Crummie is the father of Ms. Roman's youngest child, 6-month-old Jacqueline.
Crystal was found unconscious in her bed about noon Sunday.
News staff reporter Lou Michel contributed to this report.