'It doesn't have to happen:' Recovering addict captures video of man apparently overdosing while 3-year-old is inside a car

George McClain III (Source: JRLDC)
George McClain III (Source: JRLDC)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Murrells Inlet man remained in custody Monday evening following his weekend arrest for allegedly overdosing in a car while a 3-year-old girl was inside.

WMBF News has obtained video that appears to show the man overdosed outside a vehicle while a woman attempted to revive him. The man's head appears to be resting on a piece of red clothing. Warning - viewers may find the above video disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.

According to online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, 31-year-old George Fredrick McClain III was charged with unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person. His bond was set at $10,000.

An incident report from the Horry County Police Department states officers were called to the 3200 block of U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet on March 18 due to a possible overdose.

A woman told police she and the suspect were supposed to go to the store together. He then got into a disagreement with his mother and left the home without her, but did take the 3-year-old child, the report stated.

A short time later, the woman called the suspect and noted that he didn't sound like himself on the phone, according to the police report. She then walked from the home off of nearby Stanley Drive and met McClain by the T.G.I. Friday's restaurant off of Inlet Square Drive.

"She stated that when she got into the car with him, she could tell that something was wrong with him," the report stated. "She had him pull into the parking lot of the restaurant and stop the vehicle."

At that point, the suspect reportedly became unresponsive and "began turning a grey color," according to police.

Video shot by witness Bryan Schook shows the woman rubbing and pressing on the man's chest while she is on the phone with 911.

"It looked like somebody had been hit by a vehicle, so I went over to see if I could help," Schook said. "I'm CPR and first aid certified, so I thought I could go over and help and noticed what was going on, and then everything changed."

When medics arrived, they used two doses of Narcan on the suspect after allegedly determining he showed signs of an overdose. He then began showing signs of improvement and reportedly told first responders he had snorted fentanyl.

Schook said when he first got there, the woman said "No" when he offered to help. What he saw is, unfortunately, something he's seen before.

A recovering addict himself, Schook said he has been clean the past seven years.

"Somebody that is on it isn't going to get off of it unless they want to," he said. "Family members do know when there is a problem. Don't just ignore it and sweep it under the rug. If you have to take custody of that child, do it. If you have to throw them on the street, do it. Something eventually will wake them up and they will want help and want to quit. You can't just ignore it; it doesn't make it any better, it makes it worse."

The girl in the back seat is what bothered Schook the most, he said.

"I know friends that have passed that were single and their child was in the home for a day," Schook said. "It all needs to stop and it's not going to until we acknowledge it's an issue."

The suspect was eventually taken to South Strand Medical Center for evaluation. While there, he tried to get staff to do a blood test to verify if there were any narcotics in his system, the report stated.

According to police, medical staff told him fentanyl does not show up in blood tests, but that Narcan would not have had the effect on him it did if he had not ingested a narcotic such as fentanyl.

For his part, Schook hopes the video can help even just one person.

"If that video can keep one kid from going through that, or one mom or one dad or one cousin, then it's worth it, you know, to me," he said. "You know, or another guy that happens to just be walking by doesn't have to witness it then good, because it doesn't have to happen."

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