Mass Overdose Leaves Connecticut Park Strewn with Dozens of Drugged-Out Victims

Kenny Tucker
August 17, 2018

Forty-six people overdosed Wednesday at or near a CT park from a suspected bad batch of "K2" synthetic marijuana, requiring paramedics to be stationed there to provide treatment, authorities said.

Officials have arrested a 37-year-old man, Felix Melendez, in connection with the overdoses, according to the New Haven Register. Three more overdoses were reported at the Green Tuesday night, but officials could not confirm whether they were related.

Officials blamed K2, a synthetic and marijuana-like drug that's smoked and can often be laced with unsafe or even lethal substances.

He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which was sent off to a lab for testing.

The overdoses continued late into Wednesday night. The police chief says they firmly believe the person in custody is responsible for at least some of the overdoses.

No deaths were reported, but authorities said two people showed life-threatening symptoms.

Authorities have increased their presence on the New Haven Green.

Synthetic marijuana, which generally is plant material sprayed with chemicals that mimic the high from real marijuana, has been blamed for overdoses across the country.

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'It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure.

Drug Enforcement Administration test results confirmed that samples of the drug were unadulterated K2, according to Laurence Grotheer, spoksperson for New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

New Haven fire chief John Alston said responders received calls just after 8 a.m. reporting multiple individuals experiencing overdose symptoms, including unconsciousness, vomiting and nausea. As Fontana was talking to reporters late in the morning, the fire radio crackled with reports of two more people down on the green, and police, medics and firefighters ran or drove to aid the latest victims a few hundred yards away. "Let's address it that way", he said.

At first, the drug Nalaxone - used to treat narcotic overdoses - appeared not to work.

A "mass overdose" appears to have taken place in a CT park today (Aug. 15), according to news reports.

Some individuals who were released from the hospital needed to be treated a second time for an additional apparent overdose, Fontana said. "Every agency - police, fire, medical, hospitals - all are strained at this time".

A similar, but smaller overdose incident, played out on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

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