HOUSTON, Texas — Authorities say a Houston police officer was exposed to an unknown narcotic while collecting evidence in southwest Houston Wednesday morning.
Houston police were called to the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 9090 Southwest Freeway near Commerce Park Drive around 6 a.m. because a hotel guest who appeared to be drunk was in the lobby and refused to leave.
The man was gone when officers arrived.
When officers checked the man’s hotel room, they found 50 to 100 pills in a plastic bag.
“When the officer put the baggie in the patrol car, he started feeling ill, shortness of breath and feeling dizzy, and he was not getting better, he was getting worse and worse,” said HPD Asst. Chief Wendy Baimbridge.
The officer then gave himself a dose of Narcan. It is an antidote used to reverse opioid overdoses. But that single dose was not enough.
Officials took the officer to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. The officer recovered and medical professionals discharged him since then.
HPD does not know if the chemical was Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can be fatal if you’re exposed to it.
Firefighters took no chances and treated the scene as a chemical spill.
Police say field tests for Fentanyl are unreliable, so they are testing the pills at a lab. It could take days to determine if the drug was Fentanyl or something else.
The weary situation ended with all parties recovering and back on their feet. It’s unclear if there was a way to avoid the situation. The officer will surely be more careful in the future when taking evidence of highly dangerous substances.