LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A police officer was exposed to fentanyl during an arrest and had to be administered Narcan, Mesquite police said.
On the evening of Sept. 21, a Mesquite police officer stopped a vehicle near the intersection of West Mesquite Boulevard and Thistle Street, a release from the department said. The officer stopped the vehicle for “several traffic violations.”
While the officer was talking to the driver, the officer observed what the release called “several signs of illegal drug activity.”
Officers asked the driver, identified as 48-year-old Adam Smith, to exit his vehicle. Smith suddenly ran across the road, but after a brief chase, officers were able to take him into custody.
Once Smith was in custody, he told police that he had ingested fentanyl while he was running from them. One of the officers then located a small bag on the ground that contained what they suspected to be fentanyl powder.
Officers later recovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the suspect.
Before collecting the fentanyl as evidence, an officer took steps to protect himself and limit the risk of exposure to the substance. However, shortly after collecting it, the officer began to feel symptoms of exposure.
Other officers on the scene administered Narcan to help stabilize the officer until medical could arrive. Once Mesquite EMTs arrived, they administered a second dose and took him to a local hospital.
Narcan is a brand of Naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.
“Police officers work every shift knowing they will be faced with dangerous situations, but they still go to work because of their dedication to keeping Mesquite safe,” Chief MaQuade Chesley said. “Fentanyl exposure is unfortunately one of those dangers our officers now potentially face every time they stop a vehicle or search a person.”
The officer was monitored and released several hours later, the release said.
“I am extremely proud of the way the officers handled this situation, and would like to thank the paramedics and hospital staff that took such good care of our officer,” Chief MaQuade Chesley added.
Smith, who is originally from Washington, Utah, was taken to the hospital to be monitored before being taken to jail.
Smith was arrested and charged with felony possession of fentanyl, felony possession of methamphetamine, gross misdemeanor attempted destruction of evidence, misdemeanor obstructing an officer, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.