In a deadly trend sweeping through the state, police and firefighters rushed to the aid of 15 people who had overdosed, two fatally, on what is believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl, between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2016 in New Haven, CT.
Report by Paula Antolini
June 24, 2016 8:11AM EDT
Police: Fifteen Individuals in Their 60’s Overdose in 6 Hours, Two Fatal
In a deadly trend sweeping through the state, police and firefighters rushed to the aid of 15 people who had overdosed, two fatally, on what is believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl, between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2016 in New Haven, CT, reports the New Haven Independent.
According to the report, police and firefighters found five unresponsive individuals, who had overdosed and gone unconscious, within three to four blocks of each other on Lander Street in Newhallville, according to Assistant Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli. Two individuals were found in a car near a baseball diamond, and three more men were found passed out in a car in a parking lot at Bowen Field across from Hillhouse High School. Four victims were revived with Narcan by the Fire Department, the fifth victim remained unresponsive. All victims were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Later the fifth victim was pronounced dead. He is identified by police as Thomas Frazier, age 64. All victims appeared to be about the same age as the man who died, police indicated.
Two more overdoses were later found in Newhallville, and another two in a Walgreens parking lot at George and York streets. One woman, of a mother and daughter found overdosed, went into cardiac arrest. One was reported as having died at 10:16 p.m.
An Everbridge emergency phone-notification system was activated at 10:30 p.m. to call people throughout town with the following warning: “The City of New Haven is experiencing a public Health Emergency and therefore are placing an immediate warning of tainted life threatening heroin on our streets. Please be aware of this warning and its immediate life-threatening effect.”
Toxicology reports are not in yet but Assistant Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli said, “I don’t ever recall a day like this ever. I don’t think we’ve had this amount in a very, very long,” … “We have barely enough Narcan to get throughout the night. We’re hoping it calms down. We used up almost the whole supply of Narcan in the city.” The fire department was trying to obtain more Narcan from Yale-New Haven Hospital and AMR ambulance service in Hartford.
Due to this heroin and opioid overdose epidemic, federal authorities have been working together with local police to capture the dealers responsible for selling the fatal drugs. Drug Enforcement Administration, state and local police, and prosecutors have been investigating overdose cases since January, considering each overdose a crime scene. “In cases in which the government can prove that the dealer knew the product could harm the customer, prosecutors hope to bring manslaughter charges when possible, said Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Leonard C. Boyle,” reports the New Haven Independent.