Drug dealer arrested as dozens overdose in CT park

Ebony Scott
August 17, 2018

That scene came on the same day that as many as 60 people in the area of New Haven Green were believed to have overdosed on some form of K2 that may have been laced with opioids, according to New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman. Local officials said it was unlike anything they had seen before.

On Tuesday night, emergency crews responded to three overdoses in New Haven Green park. No deaths were reported, and most people brought to hospitals have been discharged, officials said. "We've heard some reports of people smoking things", he said, "but it's impossible to say with certainty if all victims received the same substance".

Officials have arrested a 37-year-old man, Felix Melendez, in connection with the overdoses, according to the New Haven Register.

"Cannabinoids are chemicals. They are manufactured in laboratories, they can also be naturally occurring in herbs like marijuana and the difference between the laboratory strain is that it's much more potent".

By late Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Toni Harp had increased police presence on the green, and directed that the New Haven Fire Department and AMR ambulance maintain an around-the clock incident-command center there.

EMTs administered Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, to some victims but it didn't appear to be effective.

The man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of being connected to some of the drugs that caused the overdoses, NBC News Connecticut reported. "It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure".

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Emergency responders spent several hours today working to treat the victims and transport them to the hospital. Their symptoms included vomiting, hallucinations, high blood pressure, shallow breathing and unconsciousness, ABC News reported.

Users never know what could be mixed in, and the outbreak on the New Haven green is still being assessed with the Narcan that was used to help save patients.

Fire Department first responders were handling so many calls that they were experiencing "compassionate-care fatigue" and had to be rotated off the engine companies, said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston.

A similar, but smaller overdose incident, played out on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

The New Haven green is a meetingplace for the homeless population in the city.

The DEA has also been called in to assist in the investigation.

Other reports by GizPress

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