By Will Greenlee
Posted April 27, 2010 at 2:45 p.m. , updated April 28, 2010 at 5:52 a.m.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Calling marijuana “God’s herb,” a man repeatedly blew pot smoke at an 11-year-old boy’s mouth and made him stand with his arms outstretched “in the same fashion as Jesus on the cross,” according to records obtained Tuesday.
Port St. Lucie police say Richard Joseph Nazareth, 38, also made the boy and a 9-year-old girl drink from a mixture of water, tears, spit and beer that he used to “bless” a friend’s house.
Those were among the allegations made against Nazareth in police records obtained Tuesday supporting his April 23 arrest on two cruelty toward child charges. He was released the same day on his own recognizance, a jail official said.
Nazareth couldn’t be reached for comment. A person from the Silver Law Firm of Boca Raton representing Nazareth declined comment.
The boy told police Nazareth picked him and the 9-year-old girl up from school on a Friday in mid-March. The next evening, Nazareth sat them at the dinner table and gave them a piece of bread and a small cup of wine, saying it was the body and blood of Jesus Christ and that it was OK to drink the wine.
When they finished, Nazareth, of the 4200 block of Southwest Elba Street, started smoking marijuana and blew the smoke in the boy’s face. The children declined Nazareth’s offer to smoke with him, the report said.
Nazareth told the boy it was “God’s herb,” but the boy replied he didn’t want any.
Nazareth told the boy to cup his hands around his mouth and exhale his breath, a report states. He then blew marijuana smoke into the child’s cupped hands and told the boy to inhale.
The boy said that happened 10 or 11 times and that he didn’t go to bed until 4 a.m. the next day, a Sunday.
Later that day, Nazareth took the children to a female friend’s home to eat and have “church service.” There he started to roll marijuana cigarettes and smoked with the female friend in front of the kids, the report states.
Nazareth again made the boy cup his hands around his mouth before blowing smoke in his face. He was “made” to inhale the pot smoke five to seven times.
The boy said he’d smoked so much marijuana he felt sick at school when he went back the next day, a Monday.
The 9-year-old girl gave a similar account, saying she pinched her nose when Nazareth blew marijuana smoke in her face.
She also said that after the boy got “high” at the home of Nazareth’s female friend, Nazareth made him “stand with his arms extended out to the side in the same fashion as Jesus on the cross.”
Further, she said Nazareth drank from a bottle of water. He put one of his tears and one of his female friend’s tears in the bottle before spitting in the bottle and adding a drop of beer.
He “blessed” the house by having the children put a hand on the house as he splashed some of the mixture on it. Nazareth made the children drink some of the mixture before he and his female friend had some.
Nazareth told investigators he served the children watered down wine as a toast to a church he recently bought. He said he occasionally smokes marijuana, though said he didn’t do so front of the children.
He agreed to write a statement for investigators, but then said he felt dizzy and thought he might faint.
“He then told me he needed to chew on a Xanax to feel better, and he suffered from vertigo,” a report states.
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