“[The officer] made a car stop last night … of a subject that had a no bail arrest warrant and was in possession of suspected drugs, so the officer made the arrest,” Anaheim Police Department Public Information Officer Shane Carringer told The Epoch Times.
Carringer said the officer collected the suspected drugs and was en route to the police department to book the suspect when he started feeling symptoms consistent with fentanyl exposure.
Due to feeling light-headed, the officer pulled over at Sycamore and East Street to radio for help. Anaheim Fire and Rescue paramedics showed up to treat the unidentified officer on scene, although they did not administer Narcan nasal spray, a drug used to counteract opioid exposures, Carringer said.
Instead, paramedics gave him oxygen and basic life support measures, according to Carringer.
The officer refused additional medical treatment and declined to go to the hospital after the incident.
The fire department treated the area as a hazmat scene and decontaminated the patrol vehicle for additional traces of potential fentanyl exposure.
“[The Fire Department] has a chemical that they can use that will basically render fentanyl inert and allow for it to be cleaned up,” Carringer said. “We have to clean up the police car, but it doesn’t pose a risk after it’s exposed to this chemical due to the chemical change that takes place with the substance itself.”
Carringer noted that after testing the substance early this morning, it did come back as presumptive positive for fentanyl, meaning there were particles of fentanyl in the substance taken from the suspect.
It is unknown how much fentanyl was seized from the suspect, and he was taken to jail without further incident.
Police in Orange County have been warning residents about the extreme danger of fentanyl, which is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroine. Illicit drug manufacturers often mix it in with other drugs, known as “cutting” without the users knowing.
“These people that are making fentanyl, they’re stamping and creating pills that may look like an actual pharmaceutical, but it’s actually an illicit drug that has nothing to do with it,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Todd Hylton told The Epoch Times in a previous interview.
“And even then, let’s say that somebody gets two pills, one might contain a lethal dose and the other might not, and they don’t even realize that the pills are fentanyl, they might think they are Xanax or OxyContin or something.”
The incident comes just days after the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department released a video from July 3 of an officer collapsing onto the ground after being exposed to fentanyl. A nearby officer quickly administered Narcan to save him.