New testing shows 6-year-old-boy exposed to drugs before overdose

The investigation is continuing as to how the 6-year-old grandson of Sherrill City Police Chief James Hastings ingested and overdosed on methamphetamine. New testing requested by the boy's father Steve Sgarlata shows that he had been exposed to the drug prior to Feb. 16.

A standard hair test was performed at Executive Investigation and Testing Services in Syracuse. The boy was tested for exposure to five different drugs he may have ingested 30 to 60 days prior to his Emergency Room visit. The results confirmed the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine in the boy's system before Feb. 16.

No other illicit drugs were found to be in the boy's hair or system.

The child was rushed to the Emergency Room by his mother, Melissa Hastings in the early morning hours of Feb. 16 hallucinating spiders and mosquitoes. He was then rushed to University Hospital, where testing showed the presence of the drugs.

As the investigation by New York State Police and Oneida County Child Protective Services continues, it was announced last week that the Police Chief will be taking a paid two-week leave of absence. City Manager Bob Comis will act as Police Chief in Hastings absence.

"It should be made clear that there has never been any report to the city of the chief acting inappropriately," Comis said.

The Hastings family attorney, Neal P. Rose, declined comment, citing attorney-client priviledge.

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