An employee at a special needs school in Riverside was arrested Tuesday after police received a tip that she was giving fentanyl to students.
Riverside police officers responded to the Bright Futures Academy on County Farm Road around 4:30 p.m. for a report of a student who was out of control. While at the school, which serves special needs students between kindergarten and 12th grade, staff tipped off officers about an employee who may have been furnishing students with the illegal opioid.
Police learned that a student at the school had actually overdosed on fentanyl at their home just a week earlier.
An investigation by the school identified 46-year-old Melissa Harloam-Garrison as the person suspected of giving the student and additional kids fentanyl.
Harloam-Garrison is a bus driver and campus security guard who lives on campus in a cottage with her husband, the school said.
Officers searched the on-campus home and found more than a hundred suspected fentanyl pills, two handguns and various types of ammunition.
Harloam-Garrison was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for child endangerment and various illegal drug and firearms violations. She is being held on $50,000 bail.
Her husband, 58-year-old David Garrison, was also arrested and booked for possession of a firearm on campus and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. His bail was set at $25,000.
The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Riverside Police Department’s Narcotics Unit at 951-353-7200. You can also send an anonymous tip by email.