The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a reported fentanyl overdose in which a sheriff’s deputy was exposed to the drug while contacting a suspect at Newhall Ranch Road and Rye Canyon Road on Saturday.
Shortly after the initial call at 8:20 p.m., the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy was transported to the hospital, treated for fentanyl exposure, and released a few hours later, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
“(The deputy) originally responded to a business disturbance on the 28000 block of Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia regarding a male and female being detained by loss prevention,” said Arriaga. While conducting their investigation, the deputy was exposed to suspected fentanyl.”
“He was transported to a local hospital for further medical evaluation,” Arriaga continued. “The deputy was later released and is doing good.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control website, fentanyl can appear in crystal or crystalline powder form, is 80 times as potent as morphine, hundreds of times more potent than heroin and can be disseminated in a number of ways.
“Fentanyl can be absorbed into the body via inhalation, oral exposure or ingestion, or skin contact,” the CDC’s website reads. “It is not known whether fentanyl can be absorbed systemically through the eye. Fentanyl can be administered intravenously (IV), intramuscularly (IM), or as a skin patch (transdermally).”
The call, according to Fire Department Capt. Norma Queen, was first reported as a possible overdose involving the deputy.
While the identity of the deputy was not released, the suspect was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and may see additional charges of possession with intent to sell, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Nelson Rios.
Signal Staff Writer Caleb Lunetta contributed to this report.