After years of battling own addiction, Newport News native saves man who overdosed in car

A bystander took a picture of the man while BaCote started to help him

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The heroin epidemic is not exclusive to a race, a neighborhood, or a particular socio-economic background.

The scenario Marlon BaCote found himself in last week proves that.

"It just goes to show we have a problem," he says.

BaCote is in graduate school at Liberty University to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.

He is currently working as a CSAC under supervision at the Monarch Clinical and Consulting Services in Hampton, as well as a mental health specialist in Newport News and Virginia Beach.

Before that though, he battled his own addiction.

"My addiction was terrible. It was horrible," he says. "I know that God brought me through what he brought me through for a reason."

BaCote says God also brought him to Emma Drive in Newport News on Thursday, the street where he grew up, to visit a friend.

However, before he got to the house, some neighbors waved him down saying a man hit their car and he wasn't moving.

BaCote jumped out and ran over to the man's truck. He says he was sitting in the driver seat of the running car, the foot on the break, unconscious with a syringe in his leg.

"I knew that two to five minutes he would be out because he gave himself the injection with the foot on the break," he says.

BaCote had recently gone through REVIVE! training, which is the opioid overdose and naloxone education program from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Naloxone is a medication that can block or reverse the effects of opioids.

"I used my mouth guard, gave him two breaths, three pumps on the chest," he says.

BaCote says he was waiting twenty seconds, as instructed from his training, before administering from the naloxone. In that short time frame, the man woke up.

"God had me in the right place at the right time."

Dr. Sonya Lee, Director of Substance Use Disorder at the Monarch Clinic, says this very situation shows how important it is for people to know the signs of an overdose, as well as the training.

"It's affecting the community as a whole," she says. "As a citizen, just an ordinary day citizen, you may find yourself in this situation and you need to be prepared."

Newport News Police say they charged the 48-year-old driver after finding additional heroin inside the car. They also charged him for DWI 1st Offense and Reckless Driving.

He was taken to the hospital, but was released.

Police also confirmed to News 3 that the man had a syringe in his leg, the car was running, in drive, unable to move because it had hit a parked car.

BaCote still won't call himself a hero, though. He says he's simply a symbol of hope for those battling addiction.

"We all need each other in this fight," he says.

For more information on free REVIVE! classes across Hampton Roads, visit their website.