Cop Mistakenly Inhales 'Cloud' of Cocaine After Suspect Arrest

A police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, lost consciousness on Monday night after unintentionally inhaling a "cloud" of cocaine that originated from a detained suspect.

Rebecca Atkins, an Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman, told the Albuquerque Journal on Tuesday that three of its officers were taken to a local hospital after being exposed to the cocaine, but have since been released from the facility.

She said that the incident occurred at around 9:00 p.m. on Monday night when the officers were called to a domestic violence incident, where a seemingly "armed and intoxicated" man allegedly attempted to have sex with a woman while inappropriately touching her.

The woman managed to leave the apartment and contact the police, while the man, John Duran, 39, left on a motorcycle before shortly being apprehended by the officers. Duran was put into a police cruiser and transported to the department's Northeast substation.

"The officer arrived at the substation and was preparing to take custody of the male when he opened the door to the police vehicle," Atkins told the Journal. "At that time, an unknown cloud of a powdery substance came out of the vehicle, and the officer inhaled it."

She said that the officer started to "feel nauseous and had trouble breathing" before he then "lost consciousness," causing his colleagues to administer him with Narcan, a medication used to block the effects of opioids.

The officer, alongside two of his colleagues, was then taken to a hospital for treatment, while the substation was closed as a Hazmat team responded to the scene.

The substance was later identified as cocaine, and Atkins told the Journal that the Narcan was administered because at the time of the incident, "they were not sure what the substance was, but based on the officer's reaction, it was consistent with an exposure to fentanyl."

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which can cause breathing problems, nausea, and be fatal in small doses when produced illicitly, according to CNN.

When asked if the officers searched the suspect for drugs before detaining him, Atkins replied: "Our main concern at this time is the health and well-being of our officers. We will follow-up to ensure the incident was handled within policy."

Duran was charged with multiple counts, including distribution or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, criminal sexual contact, and battery on a household member. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Monday.

Newsweek has contacted the Albuquerque Police Department for comment.

Officer passed out after mistakenly inhaling cocaine
Cocaine or other drugs cut with razor blade on mirror. Hand dividing white powder narcotic. A police officer in Albuquerque lost consciousness on Monday May 24 after unintentionally inhaling a “cloud” of cocaine that emanated from a detained suspect when the door to the police vehicle was opened. Tlnors/iStock / Getty Images Plus