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Police: Boy given drug-tainted orange

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By Michael Hasch
Friday, July 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Homewood man is accused of giving a little boy an orange on Thursday that police believe may be tainted with cocaine or crack cocaine.

Delbert Pate, 44, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, drug violations and related crimes for the incident that occurred while he was talking to a group of young people on his porch on Kelly Street, said city police Sgt. Michael Pilyih. The 8-year-old boy did not eat the orange and was not harmed, Pilyih said.

The boy, who lives across the street, came over to Pate's porch where other young people had gathered, Pilyih said. For some unknown reason, the sergeant said, Pate gave the child a plastic grocery bag with an orange inside, Pilyih said. The orange, which had several knife slices in it, was lying in the bag, which also had a powdery substance that police believe might be cocaine or crack cocaine, Pilyih said.

The boy gave the bag to his sister who called police.

Police were forced to use pepper spray to detain Pate, who refused to come out of his house, Pilyih said. Pate, who was wearing an ankle bracelet, was taken to a hospital for treatment. He will be arraigned after being discharged, the sergeant said.

It was not immediately clear why Pate was wearing the ankle bracelet, Pilyih said. The substance will be analyzed to determine what it is, he said.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or at

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