Chris Green, a police officer from East Liverpool, Ohio, had to be taken to hospital on Friday night after overdosing simply by touching a highly potent drug, most likely fentanyl. Officer Green came into contact with the substance while searching a car after the driver had carried out an alleged drug deal.
The officer had to be given four doses of narcan, an opioid antidote, to revive him after his encounter with the substance. According to a police report, officers pulled over a blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo at West 8th Street after observing the driver, 25-year-old Justin Buckle, perform what they had believed to have been a drug deal. Buckle and his passenger, Cortez Collins, 24, realized their car was boxed in and tried to dispose of the drugs.
Officer Green apparently followed the correct protocol for handling drugs and wore a mask and gloves while searching the car and patting down both Buckle and Collins. According to Captain Patrick Wright, also with the East Liverpool PD, in an interview with WKBN, “there was white powder on the seat, on the floor, on the guy’s shoes and on his clothing.”
After his arrest, Buckle complained he wasn’t feeling well so an ambulance was called. Meanwhile, the officer returned to the station and was standing around with some colleagues when one pointed out Green had some white powder on his shirt. Instinctively, Green simply brushed the powder away with his bare hand and that’s where the trouble really started.
Officer Green soon started feeling dizzy and would have collapsed if it weren’t for the lightening-quick reaction of a colleague who caught him and lowered him to the ground. The paramedics that took Buckle to the hospital were called back for Green and immediately administered a dose of the opioid reversal drug Narcan to revive him and another three doses upon his arrival at the hospital. Officer Green has since been released from hospital and is expected to return to work soon.
Both Buckle and Cortez have been charged with tampering with evidence and held on $10,000 bond, plus Buckle received the additional charge of felonious assault for allegedly exposing the officer to fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can be absorbed through the skin, such as was the case with officer Green.