By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A 41-year-old man accused in July of smuggling heroin into a local hospital and giving the drug to a patient who overdosed is now accused of selling drugs to a Wausau man who overdosed Sunday in a convenience store bathroom.
Christopher Harter was already facing charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety and delivering heroin in connection with the July incident and was free after posting a $2,500 cash bond. Those charges were filed July 28, after police discovered Harter gave heroin to a hospitalized friend who later overdosed on the drug in the hospital bathroom, according to the criminal complaint. The man survived.
Harter’s bond was forfeited when he failed to show up in court for a scheduled hearing, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in November. Harter was briefly in custody again, but was released again after posting a $500 cash bond.
On Sunday, Harter was arrested again, this time after a 35-year-old man was found passed out in the bathroom at Kwik Trip, 2215 N. Sixth St., on Wausau’s northeast side. Police and rescue workers were called just after 3 p.m. to the store after an employee found the man lying on the floor. Paramedics administered Narcan to the man and revived him on the way to a local hospital, according to the police report.
While at the hospital, the victim told police he had been using heroin for more than a decade, an addiction that began with recreational use of oxycontin. The victim, who said he typically injected about a tenth of a gram of heroin twice a day, told police he bought the drugs about 30 minutes prior to overdosing in the bathroom, where he flushed the syringe and baggie down the toilet before passing out, according to the complaint.
Acting on information from the victim and evidence seized in the victim’s phone, police located Harter and arrested him.
Now, Harter faces new charges filed Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court of first degree recklessly endangering safety, delivering heroin, possession of heroin with intent to deliver and two counts of bail jumping. This time, Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson ordered Harter held on a $250,000 cash bond. He remains in custody in the Marathon County Jail.
If Harter is convicted on all charges in both cases, he faces up to 74 1/2 years in the Wisconsin prison system and up to $145,000 in fines.
A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 21.