Methuen, MA – A suspect caught with a bag of powder in his underwear on Wednesday tore it open and spread the powerful opioid fentanyl all over the jail and the officer who was searching him.
The incident occurred as Kyle Dennis was being booked at the Methuen Police Department on May 8, according to WCVB.
Dennis was arrested for outstanding warrants for receiving a stolen motor vehicle, giving a false name to police, possession of a Class A substance, having a firearm and ammunition without a permit, and improper storage of a firearm, The Republican reported.
Police said that first, a syringe fell out of the suspect’s pants.
Then when an officer strip-searched Dennis, he discovered a bag of powder that was hidden in his underwear, WCVB reported.
The officer told Dennis not to touch the bag, but he ignore the command tore the package open, spreading fentanyl all over himself, Methuen Police Officer Patrick Waldron, and the cell block.
“It made contact with Officer Waldron. His gun belt, his arms, his legs his shirt bulletproof vest and his boots,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Dulany told WCVB.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is as much as 100 times stronger than morphine.
Officers shut down the police station’s cell block and moved suspects to other departments while the area was decontaminated, WCVB reported.
Officer Waldron was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Methuen Police Captain Gregory Galant said on Thursday that the officer was recovering, WCVB reported.
“Now he's doing well. He's doing well today. Obviously, all of his equipment has to be decontaminated,” Capt. Gallant said.
Dennis was also taken to the hospital and treated and then released back into police custody, according to The Republican.
He is now facing additional charges of possession of fentanyl, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, defacement of property, and giving a false name to police, according to The Republican.
“This incident highlights the dangers our police officers face every day, even inside the confines of their own police station, at the hands of desperate, dangerous individuals,” Methuen Mayor James P. Jajuga said. “Tonight, a career criminal knowingly put the lives of our officers in danger.”