After a fun night of trick-or-treating this Halloween, parents in the Park Village area of Sayreville decided to take their kids home and call it a night. Upon arriving home and looking through their children’s candy bags, these Sayreville parents discovered the shock of their lives: Prescription drugs disguised as Halloween candy made its way into the Halloween candy hauls.
A Clonazepam (Klonopin or Rivotril) pill was found last Tuesday night, inside a bag decorated with candy corn. The pill was placed into the bag and passed out with traditional Halloween candy to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. The drug is a sedative, prescribed to people suffering from debilitating anxiety, depression, and seizures. Consuming the drug will impact a person’s coordination, judgment, and memory. It may also induce paranoia and suicidal tendencies. If combined with depressants (like alcohol), the drug can slow a person’s heart rate and breathing, which could ultimately result in death. If a child had ingested it, the results could have been fatal.
On Halloween night, the Sayreville Police Department was called, and the investigation began. Since Halloween, more prescription medication has turned up in the candy bags of trick-or-treaters from Sayreville. Authorities are reluctant to share exactly how many pills have been found since the investigation is still ongoing.
The Sayreville Police Department has pinpointed the source of the pills to be within the Park Village housing complex located between Washington Road and the Raritan River, specifically on White Oaks Drive. There are also factors like fingerprints and details between multiple paralleling testimonies that are aiding the Sayreville Police Department since this unfolded on Halloween.
The community’s reaction, however, has been one of the most bewildering aspects of this case. Sayreville is a large township divided into over twenty neighborhoods. Unfortunately, some of Sayreville’s neighborhoods have a better reputation than others, which has heavily influenced the diversity in reactions to the Halloween candy scandal. Since Sayreville is a community of families, concerned parents initially thought the medication turned up in the child’s Halloween candy bag accidentally. “I would assume it was an elderly person who was packing their goody bags and scooped up their medication by accident. [I] don’t know for sure, but it definitely seems like it was an accident,” one Sayreville parent said. Another Sayreville parent chimed in, “I’m inclined to think people will not give out *free* drugs.” Further elaborating, the same parent said, “I believe it was someone seeking attention and creating a problem that they hear on the news but doesn’t actually exist. No one is giving away their drugs for free.” Are these families in Sayreville in denial?
Circling back to the diversity in opinions and reputations, one mother who formerly lived in Sayreville wasn’t shocked to hear the news. “Wow! Who is dumb enough to do this? Giving away drugs for FREE? When I’m sure, in Sayreville especially, they’d have plenty of customers,” she says. When asked why, she says, “Because of the area, it’s filled with drugs. Sayreville, The Amboys, that whole strip of Highway 35 up to the Parkway into 287. I’m well aware of the types of people around there. Like Middletown, some areas are nice, and some are straight trash.”
Regardless of opinions on the neighborhoods within Sayreville, the fact of the matter is that the situation is every parent’s worst nightmare. Following a night of fun and trick-or-treating, authorities in Sayreville are urging parents to check their children’s candy bags before allowing their kids to have any. More information from the Sayreville Police Department will be linked below.
“Following the initial finding, the Sayreville Police Department conducted a thorough search by canvasing the portion of the Park Village neighborhood where the threat was initially identified. Officers went door to door looking for other potential victims and the source of the prescription drugs. Other bags with the same candy corn design were found within the vicinity of the original pill found. Over the next few weeks, we’re asking parents to monitor the candy their kids still have and to report anything out of the ordinary,” said Lieutenant James Novak, Head of Community Outreach
Sayreville Police Department is asking anyone with information, or anyone who has also received a similar hand-out, to contact Detective Pascone with the Sayreville Police Department at 732-525-5420 or contact the Sayreville Police Department directly at 732-727-4444.