Wooster officers hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl from suspect in backseat of police cruiser (video)

Wooster officers hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl from suspect in backseat of police cruiser (video)
GF Default - Wooster officers hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl

WAYNE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Two Wooster police officers complained of feeling ill after a suspect was able to open a bag containing fentanyl in the back of a police cruiser.

The Wooster Police Department released video from an officer’s body camera showing the Aug. 22 incident.

Wooster officers hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl

According to police, officers responded to Monterey Street to serve an arrest warrant for a female suspect.

The female was not located, but Isaiah Haskins was found inside the home.

Haskins, a convicted felon, gave the responding officers consent to search his backpack. He was immediately placed under arrest for having weapons while under disability after investigators located a pistol in his backpack.

Officers searched Haskins, handcuffed him, and placed him in the rear of a police cruiser for transport to the Wayne County Jail.

Police said that Haskins was able to retrieve a small plastic bag containing a white substance from the back of his pants. He then ripped the bag open, causing the powder to travel throughout the cruiser.

Patrol Officers Hall and Burnett, who were inside of the cruiser, started to appear confused and exhibit strange symptoms, including numbness and slurred speech, according to police.

“He said he is floating, his legs are tingling, he’s slurring,” an investigators described about one of the impacted officer’s condition.

The two officers and Haskins removed their clothing and were taken to Wooster Community Hospital by paramedics for decontamination and treatment.

Both officers have recovered, according to a statement from Wooster Police Chief Matthew Fisher.

“Patrolmen Hall and Burnett are doing well and have fully recovered from the exposure. More so, now that we know the powder released in the police cruiser contained fentanyl, we are even more relieved that Patrolmen Hall and Burnett are okay. As you know, fentanyl is killing people across this country every day and it is troubling that Mr. Haskins’ actions could have recklessly resulted in these officers being injured or killed.

We are grateful for the assistance of everyone who helped that night including, Medway, Wooster Fire/EMS and Wooster Community Hospital. We are also very thankful for the outpouring of support for these officers from our community.”

The police gear and vehicle were sealed and secured for testing.

On Monday, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation positively identified the white powder as fentanyl.

Charges against Haskins from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office are pending.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.