East Liverpool Patrolman Chris Green, of Ohio, stopped a couple of drug traffickers on a routine traffic stop. Although he used all the proper equipment to remove the drugs from the car, he ended up overdosing on the quite powerful fentanyl drug.
Green had been responding to a routine call about a car that looked like it was involved in illicit drug activity. As Green sat there and observed, he witnessed 25-year-old Justin Buckle make a drug related transaction. That’s when Green sprang into motion.
Captain Patrick Wright says that the young man in the car and his partner realized they had been blocked in by police, and began trying to dispose of the evidence.
The Daily Mail reports:
According to a police report, officers had corralled a blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo at West 8th Street after observing the driver, 25-year-old Justin Buckle, perform what was believed to have been a drug transaction.
Captain Patrick Wright, with the East Liverpool PD, tells the station WKBN after Buckle and his passenger, 24-year-old Cortez Collins, realized that police officers had blocked them in and they could not flee, they proceeded to try and dispose of the evidence.
‘There was white powder on the seat, on the floor, on the guy’s shoes and on his clothing,’ Wright recounted.
Patrolman Green reportedly followed protocol for handling drugs and wore gloves and a mask while patting down Buckle and searching the suspects’ car for evidence.
Following his arrest, Buckle complained that he was not feeling well and an ambulance was called for him.
Meanwhile, Patrolman Green returned to the police station and was standing around talking to some colleagues when one of them pointed out that he had some white powder on his shirt.
Wright says, instinctively, ‘without thinking,’ Green brushed off the smudge with his bare hand.
It is believed that Green inadvertently came into contact with the potentially deadly opioid fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 time more powerful than morphine and can be absorbed through the skin.
He soon started feeling dizzy and would have collapsed had his colleague not caught him in time and lowered him to the floor, reported KDKA.
Paramedics who were previously called to attend to Buckle were summoned back to the police station and immediately administer a dose of the opioid reversal drug Narcan to revive Green.
Green was then taken to a hospital, where he was given three additional doses of the antidote to counteract the effects of fentanyl.
Buckle is facing a charge of felonious assault for exposing the patrolman to fentanyl.
Both Buckle and Collins have been charged with tampering with evidence and ordered held on $100,000 bond each.
Buckle also faces a count of felonious assault for allegedly exposing the officer to fentanyl, while, Collins was found to have warrants out for his arrest for possession of carfentanyl – an opioid used as an elephant tranquilizer, reported WFMJ.
Patrolman Green has since been released from the hospital and is expected to return to work shortly.