Two Los Angeles police officers were treated after being exposed to what was believed to be fentanyl on Sunday in the second such incident reported over the past two days, authorities said.
Sunday’s scare took place shortly before 7 p.m. at the bus circle area of Union Station.
A citizen flagged down police to report a man displaying lewd conduct, one of the officers, Vicenzo Averaimo of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Transit Services Division, told KTLA.
While speaking to the man, they soon discovered that the suspect was in possession of a substance that appeared to be, and that the suspect identified as, fentanyl, the officer said.
A hazardous materials crew was summoned to the scene.
Both officers and the suspect were taken to a hospital for examination, officials said. Averaimo said he and his partner felt symptoms such as lightheadedness after the possible exposure.
“I was a little scared for my partner. I was a little scared, myself,” he said.
The officers were cleared at the hospital and returned to work within hours, officials said.
Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid.
Even very small amounts can be dangerous, or even fatal, and the substance can even be absorbed through the skin, Lt. Allen Schubert explained.
“Contact with the skin will make someone become under the influence of it,” the lieutenant said.
The investigation was ongoing. It was not yet clear what charges the suspect may ultimately face.
A similar scene unfolded Friday, when two LAPD officers and a supervisor were treated for possible fentanyl exposure in North Hollywood.
In that case, officers were investigating a report of a person brandishing a weapon near Lankershim Boulevard and Hesby Street when they came across an open container of suspected fentanyl while searching a suspect’s car, police said. The three officials were taken to hospitals as a precaution.