Seven police officers fell ill and were hospitalized on Friday morning after being exposed to a foreign substance while responding to a disturbance at a Rego Park apartment building, police said.
According to Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes, commander of Patrol Borough Queens North, two members of the 112th Precinct responded to the reported disturbance at a fifth-floor apartment on Saunders Street near 63rd Road at 2 a.m. on Sept. 1.
Upon arriving at the scene, Holmes said, the officers were met by a 39-year-old man whom she described to be in a “catatonic state.” Officers administered naxolone, a drug used to revive patients who have overdosed on heroin, to revive the man, who was then taken into custody and brought to Elmhurst Hospital.
Shortly after arriving at the scene, however, the officers and five other cops who came to the location began experiencing nausea and tingling of their fingers, according to Holmes. They were brought to Long Island Jewish Medical Center where they were treated and released. It’s not immediately clear what chemical triggered the symptoms, Holmes said.
No residents inside the building were harmed, but Holmes advised at a press conference that those living on the fifth floor consult their doctor as a precaution.
Meanwhile, police obtained a search warrant of the 39-year-old man’s apartment and later discovered a large pile of cash and a large quantity of white powder later determined to be heroin.
Charges against the 39-year-old man are pending the results of an ongoing investigation.