St Augustine Beach Police were alerted when an employee of Holiday Isle summoned St Johns County Fire Rescue to report an unresponsive guest on the floor in Room 224. Three hotel employees were walking past the room at about 5:30 p.m. and heard what they said sounded like a commotion. One of the employees said that he heard a male voice say, “he’s not breathing”, followed by the sounds of someone beating on a person’s chest.
The employees entered the room and discovered a 35-year-old man; lying on the floor, unconscious and barely breathing, his eyes fixed, dilated, and rolled back into his head. Also in the room was Jason Atkins’ 39-year-old brother, John Garland Atkins III, of Westfield, Indiana, and Jason Atkins’ juvenile daughter.
When police arrived, Jason Scott Atkins was pacing outside the room, holding his juvenile son in his arms. Atkins was “sweating profusely” according to the incident report. Police had to instruct him several times to stand clear of the door while emergency medical personnel continued to work because his child “was visibly upset and crying”.
Although he first denied it, after police explained again the seriousness of being truthful so that emergency medical aid could be rendered, Jason Atkins admitted that the man “may have done heroin”.
The patient was administered a Narcan injection and he began to respond. Narcan is given to reverse the effects of opiate use. Once he regained consciousness, he told paramedics that he had used heroin before the incident. St Johns County Rescue 22 transported the patient to Flagler Hospital for further treatment.
Police entered the hotel room and discovered more than 145 grams, over 5 ounces, of powdered heroin, a container of marijuana, a half-gram of concentrated hash oil, 16 transdermal patches of Fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Also collected were two electronic scales, syringes and needles, spoon and eyedropper, and assorted other paraphernalia, all within reach of the two small children.
Department of Children and Family Services was notified of the incident, the conditions where the children were located, and the arrest of the children’s father; however, after removing the two child seats from Atkins’ car, the child’s mother took them into her custody. Jason Atkins remains in custody in lieu of $518,000 bond.