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A San Francisco police sergeant has been charged with armed robbery after slipping a Rite Aid worker a note demanding painkillers and warning that he had a gun.
Sergeant Davin Cole was arrested at the Rite Aid store in San Matteo, 20 miles south of San Francisco, on November 3 after the alleged robbery where he was armed with a revolver. Charging documents indicate that he did not pull out or fire his weapon.
The 27-year veteran cop had been secretly battling an opioid addication after being bitten in the leg by a police dog while he worked with the K-9 unit in 2010.
Cole was charged with second-degree robbery on November 9 and is set to be arraigned on Thursday. He had also been charged with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest.
San Francisco police sergeant Davin Cole was charged with armed theft after he allegedly robbed Norco painkillers from a Rite Aid
The sergeant, who was off duty at the time, had allegedly slipped one of the Rite Aid employees a note telling them he had a gun and demanded the drugs at the San Mateo location on the night of November 3
The police sergeant, who was off duty at the time, had allegedly walked into the store and slipped one of the employees a note telling them he had a gun demanded the Norco painkillers.
The drug Norco is mixed with hydrocodone and acetaminophen that is designed to relieve moderate to severe pain.
An overdose of the opioid could potentially have severe effects as hydrocodone can slow your breathing and acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.
The San Mateo Police then responded to the incident where they found Cole still at the scene who allegedly attempted to run away.
'We received a call for service, we arrived on scene, and we shortly thereafter interacted a person who was later identified as a suspect, he was subsequently arrested,' San Mateo police spokeswoman Alison Gilmore told.
After officers caught up to him, they found the weapon in Cole's holster as he reportedly exclaimed 'I'm f — .My life is over.'
He was booked into San Mateo County Jail where he has since been released from custody after posting a $57,500 bond on November 5.
His attorney Tony Brass has called the incident a 'sad story, all around' as the officer had been battling the secret addiction for a more than a decade.
Cole was a 27-year veteran cop who worked in the Field Operations Bureau and helped addicts receive proper treatment and housing
The opioid crisis in California has become an increasing case of interest as deaths have staggered up to 1,500 percent throughout the state
'Certainly there's reason for compassion, but I don't want to pretend that the behavior isn't serious,' Brass said.
'He had a secret addiction since that time. And he managed to be a high-functioning addict.'
Cole's friend Joey DelliGatti, who he has known since childhood, said he hopes that he gets the help that he needs.
'It's obvious he needs help for his dependency, and can only hope he receives it.'
Cole is currently on unpaid leave with the San Francisco Police Department following the pending investigation.
He had been assigned to the Field Operations Bureau while on the force.
A part of his job was to help addicts receive proper treatment and housing.
In 2019, a video was taken of Cole speaking with a homeless woman who appeared to be struggling with drug addiction. She told Cole she started using when she started living on the streets.
'But aren't you just only occupying the bad times with a false sense of feeling good?,' he had asked her.
The woman had been using drugs to cope with her situation and didn't seem to see a point in getting clean.
'I feel like when you do get healthy it's going to be tougher,' Cole added. 'Now you're going to have to struggle with getting clean.'
Flanked by photos and relatives of fentanyl victims, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer (center at podium) announced November 10 that dealers who sell fentanyl-laced drugs to clients who die of fentanyl poisoning could be charged with murder
The opioid crisis in California has become an increasing case of interest as related deaths have staggered up to 1,500 percent throughout the state.
The powerful opioid fentanyl have been the main drive behind these drug-related deaths as they have spiked 1,000 percent in Orange County in the past five years.
Southern California drug dealers, who have sold the fentanyl to now deceased clients, can now be charged with murder.
The drug has previously been marketed by dealers as a less potent drug which have also contributed to the deaths, including in children.
This comes after prescription drug manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Teva, Allergan and Endo Pharmaceuticals had won a legal battle on November 2 after they were claimed to have been the culprits behind the crisis by local California governments.
Following a four-month bench trial, the judge rejected the claims and said that there was not enough evidence for the manufacturers to be held liable.
'There is simply no evidence to show that the rise in prescriptions was not the result of the medically appropriate provision of pain medications to patients in need,' Judge Peter Wilson of Orange County State Superior Court wrote.
According to the California Department of Public Health, there were 5,363 deaths related to opioid overdose as well as 14,867,426 prescriptions for them in 2020 throughout the state.
Nationally, about 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2020, according to the CDC.
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