Police: Arrest after teen ODs and dies in school bathroom

Sep 15, 2022, 2:37 PM | Updated: 3:13 pm
An exterior view of Bernstein High School, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in the Hollywood section of L...

An exterior view of Bernstein High School, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. A teenage girl died of an apparent overdose at the high school. On Wednesday, police were investigating three other possible fentanyl overdoses in the area, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police on Thursday arrested two teenage boys in connection with the death of a 15-year-old girl who overdosed in a restroom at her high school after buying pills possibly laced with fentanyl on campus, authorities said.

Police served a search warrant around 8:30 a.m. as part of an investigation into the overdose death of a girl a day earlier at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, police Chief Michel Moore said.

A 15-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother was taken into custody on suspicion of manslaughter, Moore said. Investigators believe he sold pills touted as Percocet to two 15-year-old friends around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday who later crushed and snorted the narcotics in the restroom at their school.

The Los Angeles County Coroner identified the student who died as Melanie Ramos, 15. Her unidentified friend who also overdosed remained hospitalized and was expected to recover.

Moore said police also arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of selling fentanyl-laced pills to two other high school students who suffered overdoses after buying the drugs at nearby Lexington Park. He could face narcotics-related charges, the chief said.

Police will work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to find the distributors who provided the 15- and 16-year-old boys with the pills, Moore said.

“There is a drug organization behind this,” he said.

The teen suspects knew each other, and both attend Apex Academy, an independent charter school that shares a campus with Bernstein.

Dealers lacing common painkillers with fentanyl is an increasingly common practice, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference.

“These are not overdoses. These are people who have been poisoned,” Garcetti said. “One pill can kill.”

Officers were called to Bernstein High Tuesday night after a man said his 15-year-old stepdaughter had overdosed on campus, police said.

The girl and her friend had not come home from school in the afternoon and the man began driving around town looking for the pair. He found his stepdaughter around 8 p.m. in a school courtyard, said police Lt. John Radke.

She had suffered an overdose but managed to tell her stepfather that her friend was in a girls’ restroom on campus, Radke said Wednesday.

The man and a school employee found the other girl unresponsive in the restroom at the school where students and parents had gathered for evening athletic events. The man administered aid until paramedics arrived and pronounced her dead, police said. His stepdaughter was hospitalized.

Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to separate calls reporting possible overdoses of two teens in the area of Lexington Park, a few blocks from Bernstein High and a cluster of other schools, according to police.

“It is believed that the overdose victims are students of Bernstein and local high schools,” a police statement said.

One of the victims was a 17-year-old student at nearby Hollywood High School, said Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

Including the latest victims, there have been a total of six cases of drug-related incidents including overdoses stemming from illicit narcotics purchased in recent at Lexington Park in a residential area of East Hollywood near the U.S. 101 freeway, Carvalho said.

“It is a park well known for allowing individuals to sell drugs to provide drugs to some of our students,” the superintendent told reporters Wednesday.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the area, ordered the park closed Wednesday, Carvalho said.

Grief and crisis counselors were on hand at Bernstein High, LA Unified said in a statement.

Law enforcement officials nationwide have for months warned about the dangers of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It’s frequently mixed into illicit pills made to look like prescription painkillers or other medicines.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - This combo of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota, show Tou...
Associated Press

State, cops seek to bar evidence in trial over Floyd killing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys for two former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd have filed more than 100 motions to limit testimony or evidence at trial — with many requests relying heavily on what happened at the previous two trials in Floyd’s death. J. Alexander Kueng and Tou […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Hospital chain says ‘IT security issue’ disrupts operations

CHICAGO (AP) — A major nonprofit health system with 140 hospitals in 21 states, CommonSpirit Health, is reporting an “IT security issue” that has disrupted operations in multiple states. A company spokesperson would not explain the nature of the apparent cyberattack, such as whether the organization’s IT network was hit by ransomware. The Des Moines […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Last of migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard to leave shelter

BOSTON (AP) — The last of dozens of migrants shipped to Martha’s Vineyard last month are set to depart temporary shelter at a military base on Cape Cod for transitional housing by the end of the weekend, according to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration. The Venezuelan migrants were lured onto Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flights […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Tax cut trend reaches two-thirds of states

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — States brimming with cash are cutting taxes at a rapid pace. With the enactment Wednesday of an income tax cut in Missouri, about two-thirds of U.S. states have adopted some sort of tax relief in 2022. For taxpayers, the trend means billions of dollars back in their pockets. Some already […]
11 hours ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

OPEC+ makes big oil cut to boost prices; pump costs may rise

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries decided Wednesday to sharply cut production to support sagging oil prices, a move that could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise politically sensitive pump prices for U.S. drivers just ahead of key national elections. Energy ministers cut production by a larger-than-expected 2 […]
11 hours ago
Attorney Norm Pattis, representing Alex Jones, speaks to Judge Barbara Bellis during the Alex Jones...
Associated Press

Alex Jones declines to put on a defense in defamation trial

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones declined to put on a defense Wednesday at his defamation trial in Connecticut and was back in Texas in advance of closing arguments over how much he should pay for promoting the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. The jury of three […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Police: Arrest after teen ODs and dies in school bathroom