Mesquite Police officer exposed to fentanyl during arrest of Utah man

Photo from Mesquite Police Department

MESQUITE, Nevada, Sept. 23, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — An officer of the Mesquite Police Department in Nevada is recovering after exposure to fentanyl during the arrest of a man from Washington, Utah.

A news release issued by Chief MaQuade Chesley, MPD, says the incident happened Thursday evening near the intersection of West Mesquite Boulevard and Thistle Street after a police officer tried to stop a vehicle for traffic violation.

“While talking to the driver, the officer observed signs of illegal drug activity” in a man later identified as Adam Smith, 48, of Washington, Utah, in Washington County.

“The driver exited his vehicle as instructed so officers could continue their investigation,” the police statement says.

“The male suddenly ran across the roadway, but officers were able to quickly take him into custody after a brief foot chase, and the suspect told officers that he ingested fentanyl as he was running from them. An officer then located a small bag on the ground with suspected fentanyl powder inside. Officers later recovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the suspect.”

The officer took steps to protect himself from exposure before collecting the fentanyl as evidence, the statement says.

“Shortly after collecting the evidence, the officer began to feel symptoms of exposure,” the news release continues. “The other officers on scene immediately jumped into action, administered Narcan to help stabilize the officer until he could get medical attention. Once Mesquite fire and Rescue arrived, they administered a second dose of Narcan and transported him to the hospital. The officer was monitored and later released several hours later.”

Narcan is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Smith was also monitored by hospital staff members before being transported to jail.

He was booked for investigation of felony possession of fentanyl, felony possession of methamphetamine, gross misdemeanor attempted destruction of evidence, misdemeanor obstructing an officer and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

“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 Chesley’s statement says.

“Fentanyl exposure is unfortunately one of those dangers our officers now potentially face every time they stop a vehicle or search a person.

“Our officers have all been issued Narcan and are well-trained in how to use it for this exact scenario. 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.”

Image from Google Maps


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