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Police: Man gives cocaine-tainted orange to 8-year-old boy

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Updated: 7/21/2013 9:01 am
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WPXI) -- Police have charged a Homewood man after an orange possibly tainted with cocaine made its way into the hands of a young child Thursday.

The 8-year-old boy did not eat the orange and was not harmed, but Delbert Pate, 44, is facing charges that include possession with intent to deliver, corruption of minors and resisting arrest.

“It was a bad situation and, unfortunately, I’m just mad and upset that it was my son involved,” said Michelle Johnson.

According to police, Pate was talking to a group of young people while on a porch at his Kelly Street home when he gave the boy a plastic grocery bag containing the fruit, which had knife slices in it. Johnson said her daughter took the bag from her younger brother and alerted police when she “noticed that it had some white substance in it.”

The white, powdery substance is suspected to be cocaine, authorities said.

Officials said pepper spray was used on Pate after he refused to come out of his home when officers arrived. He was then taken into police custody.

“He's been such a good neighbor. He was the first one who welcomed us when we moved in. He's not a bad gentleman, he may just have some issues going on,” said Johnson. “I don't think he meant to cause my son any harm at all. I really don't.”
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