Arrest after dozens overdose in CT park

Glen Mclaughlin
August 17, 2018

Police have arrested three people suspected of being responsible for an overdose outbreak at a New Haven, Connecticut park.

Cops described a grim scene on the Green - situated in downtown New Haven to the south and west of Yale's sprawling campus - which attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year.

The first overdoses were reported near Yale University on Tuesday night.

The Courant said authorities had determined that patients had smoked the synthetic cannabinoid K-2 laced with fentanyl.

Three arrests have been made in the case, Hartman said, but officials can not say for certain if all three arrested or just one of them are directly responsible for the overdoses.

"This was a particularly odd, rare occasion where [there was] call after call for man down, obviously with symptoms of some kind of overdose, and at the time of getting that patient packaged and transported to the hospital, we'd see another immediately fall down, right there", Lt. Ernest Jones, an EMT for the New Haven Fire Department, told the New Haven Register.

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Officials said the patients were "all different ages" and that anti-overdose drugs given to some victims did not work.

No deaths were reported, but officials said two people suffered life-threatening symptoms. New Haven police said one person is in custody.

Hawk said the people who tested positive may have taken other drugs laced with fentanyl in addition to the synthetic marijuana, which is plant material sprayed with drugs and chemicals. "It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure". There were so many overdoses - people passed out, vomiting, convulsing - that emergency workers could hardly sprint fast enough to keep up.

Officials said three people have been arrested in connection with the overdoses, including a man who may have been giving out free samples of K2. By late Wednesday night there had been no deaths reported.

In some cases, patients improved after receiving high doses of the drug naloxone that reverses opioid overdoses, the Houston Chronicle reports. As Fontana was talking to reporters late in the morning, the fire radio crackled with reports of two more people down on the green, and police, medics and firefighters ran or drove to aid the latest victims a few hundred yards away. "Let's address it that way", Alston said.

Today New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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