GREENSBURG (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County man is accused of taking advantage of his uncle, who is paralyzed, and administering a powerful narcotic that could have killed him.
Investigators say 38-year-old John Kunkle III was supposed to be temporarily taking care of his uncle, Michael Meihan, inside a South Maple Street home in Greensburg. Meihan is paralyzed and requires round the clock care.
“The individual, victim is in a wheelchair. He’s unable to walk or get around,” said Greensburg Police Capt. Robert Stafford. He has limited use of his arms and hands, and he’s unable to speak.”
Meihan’s normal caregiver lives nearby and was off sick for a day, but, by chance, she looked outside and saw an ambulance outside.
“She lives next door to Meihan, and she noticed an ambulance in front of the residence,” said Capt. Stafford. “She responded over to the residence and she found Meihan on the floor.”
Kunkle was gone, as was some of Meihan’s medicine.
“His Xanax pills, half were missing, and they were just filled three days prior,” said Capt. Stafford.
The woman took over Meihan’s care, and immediately noticed something wrong with her patient. He was unresponsive and listless. Around the same time, Kunkle returned to the scene.
“He says he gave him Suboxone,” Capt. Stafford said.
Officials say it was Kunkle’s own Suboxone film tabs.
The woman, fearing Meihan was about overdose on a drug he wasn’t supposed to take called 911. Kunkle stayed on scene.
“Once we got on scene, he advised we should give Mr. Meihan Narcan,” Capt. Stafford said.
Officials say Meihan’s everyday caregiver likely saved his life. Kunkle, meanwhile, was arrested and charged with stealing pills and neglect.
Kunkle is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail on $5,000 bond.
Meihan is being treated at a local hospital and is expected to be released in the next few days.