Oakdale man arrested after friend dies of heroin overdose; suspect didn’t call 911 for an hour

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OAKDALE–A man has been arrested two months after his neighbor died from a suspected heroin overdose.

On Thursday, Michael Bedard, 55, of Oakdale, was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide and cruelty to persons. He was released on a promise to appear in court May 12.

The arrest stems from an incident that began on February 9 the victim was found at his neighbor’s–Bedard’s house–unconscious and unresponsive. He was taken to Backus Hospital, and later transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died three days later on February 12.

Staff at the hospital told the victim’s son that he had been deprived of oxygen and had severe brain damage, and that he tested positive for opiates in his system. Nurses also said the victim had been unconscious for about an hour before paramedics arrived.

Nurses tried to use naloxone to revive the victim, but it was too late. When tested, it was discovered the 55-year-old victim had marijuana and opiates in his system.

A few days after his father’s death, the son found his father’s cell phone and found text messages between his father and his father’s neighbor, Mike (Bedard). Bedard had texted “U want to do a couple lines come on down” and “Got 7something for u come over.” The victim responded “K.”

The son believes Bedard acted negligently by not immediately calling for medical attention.

A record of the 911 call showed that Bedard, who identified himself to the dispatcher, said:

I have a guy who is not very responsive at my house right now. I think maybe he is on something I don’t know if he’s on pain medication or something, but he’s not responding. He’s breathing and everything I just can’t wake him up out of it, ya know?

He also said when pressed about what the victim had taken, “I don’t know probably some kind of narcotic.”

A firefighter who responded to the 911 call confirmed what the nurses had said, namely that Bedard had waited an hour to call for medical attention. When the firefighter arrived Bedard said he thought his friend had overdosed and needed Narcan, but that he wasn’t sure what his friend had taken. When asked why he thought the victim had overdosed, Bedard said “because of his history.”

The firefighter found the victim in the basement sitting upright, breathing slow, pale, cold to the touch and sweating. He was unable to revive him.

When asked how long he had been like that, Bedard said about an hour, and that he waited to call because he thought the victim was sleeping.

When questioned on a later date about the text messages that were discovered, Bedard said that he and the victim used to snort Adderal together and that was what the texts were about.

Police arrested him in the victim’s death.