BLANCHESTER — A Blanchester man died Wednesday due to an apparent drug overdose, according to Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.
At around 3 a.m. Wednesday Blanchester police responded to an ambulance call in the 500 block of East Center Street. Officers say they found an unresponsive man, later identified as Rick Surface, 31, of that address. A family member and two police officers administered CPR until the ambulance arrived. Surface was taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was pronounced dead, Reinbolt said.
“At the scene officers found a hypodermic syringe and three empty capsules of the type used to package heroin for resale,” Reinbolt said. “Based on statements of those at the scene and the evidence found there, it is believed Surface suffered a drug overdose.”
Reinbolt said Surface was arrested by Blanchester Police in 2008 and again in 2015 for possessing items used in the administration of illegal narcotics, and he was charged with drug trafficking in 2010 after selling marijuana to an undercover police officer.
Foot chase, drug bust
Also Wednesday morning a Blanchester police officer, acting upon a citizen tip, observed what he believed might be a drug transaction in the 100 block of S. Broadway Street, according to Reinbolt. He said one of the men involved in that activity was identified as Denver “Denny” Melampy, 36, of Midland.
“When an officer attempted to speak with Melampy he fled on foot,” Reinbolt said. “Another officer arrived to assist, and after a brief foot chase Melampy was arrested near the entrance to a grocery store on South Broadway Street.”
A computer check revealed that Melampy was wanted by the Clinton County Sheriff on a warrant issued for his arrest for violating his probation, Reinbolt said. The arresting officers reported they found two hypodermic syringes on Melampy. He was charged with resisting arrest and possession of drug abuse instruments, and was incarcerated in the Clinton County Jail.
Reinbolt added that Melampy was arrested by Blanchester Police on April 22 in front of the United Dairy Farmers store on West Main Street on a warrant for his arrest for a probation violation.
“A quantity of suspected heroin was found in his area of control at that time,” Reinbolt said. “The substance is currently being examined at the Ohio Attorney General’s crime lab at London, Ohio.”