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Police: Dad gave his son morphine

MANATEE — A Bradenton father whose 16-year-old son suffers from a heart condition was arrested this week for reportedly giving the teenager morphine without a prescription.

Kenneth T. Schuler, 46, of the 4200 block of Third Avenue East, appeared before a judge Tuesday morning on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance. Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan set his bond at $1,000.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Schuler on Monday after Child Protection Services investigators were tipped off through their abuse registry that Schuler was reportedly giving his son morphine pills.

According to an arrest report, the teen suffers from a heart condition and when interviewed he told Detective Todd Sellitto that his father had been giving him the narcotics since he was discharged from the hospital last month.

The teen had been at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg since June 9, according to the report.

When the teen returned home, he was in pain so Schuler reportedly gave him the pills.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow said the pills were prescribed to Schuler for a previous back injury.

The teenager said his father continued to give him his pills through July 6, reports said. But Schuler only admitted to giving his son two 30 mg pills.

According to the police report, he also admitted that he should not have given them to him, but his son would not stop bothering him about the pills and that he would not go to the hospital for pain.

The teen’s mother was not arrested because she did not know about the situation, Bristow said.

According to his booking information, Schuler works as a self-employed mechanic.

Detectives had previously investigated Schuler for giving his son morphine pills on a separate occasion, Bristow said. When they met with him to investigate, they warned him it was illegal to give his son the pills without a prescription.

As of Tuesday, Schuler remained incarcerated at the Manatee County jail.