(from Slidell Police) – A Slidell Police lieutenant is at home recovering from minor injuries after a suspected heroin user plowed into the back of a Slidell Police vehicle yesterday afternoon.
Around 4:00 p.m., a Slidell Police officer was monitoring traffic, and was parked on the shoulder of Fremaux Avenue. The officer stated he looked in his rearview mirror and observed 32-year-old Ronald Ceplina, who was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS, veer off the roadway and head straight for his 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle. The officer saw a distracted Caplina look up, and before he could react, crash directly into the rear of his police car; traveling an estimated 40 miles per hour.
The impact pushed the police officer’s vehicle several feet, causing minor injuries to both the officer and Ceplina, who was not wearing his seatbelt. While asking Caplina why he was distracted, he could not give a clear answer. Shockingly, police discovered a fresh syringe, along with suspected heroin, inside of the vehicle. The syringe had, what appeared to be, dried blood on the needle, and Caplina had fresh injection marks on his arm. It is speculated that Caplina was distracted due to the fact that he was injecting heroin at the time of the crash.
As part of a standard protocol, the Louisiana State Police investigated the crash, and cited Caplina with carless operation, driving under suspension, and no seat belt. In addition to his traffic charges, Caplina was also booked by the Slidell Police Department for possession of a schedule I narcotic (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Chief Randy Smith says, “What disturbs me the most about this incident is that this occurred during the time when young children were getting off of school busses and walking home. We were lucky no was seriously injured, or even killed. We pray for a speedy recovery for the officer who was injured.”