Houston police officer hospitalized after being exposed to substance

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor

HOUSTON - A Houston police officer was hospitalized Wednesday after becoming ill while collecting narcotics evidence at a hotel on the city’s southwest side, authorities said.

Investigators said the officer was called about 6 a.m. to the Crowne Plaza hotel at the intersection of Southwest Freeway and Commerce Park Drive after a drunken man, who was a guest at the hotel, refused to leave.

By the time the officer arrived, the man had left, investigators said.

During an investigation of the man’s room, the officer found a plastic baggie of pills, investigators said. The officer became ill after returning to his patrol car, and administered a dose of Narcan to himself, investigators said. Another officer administered a second dose to the sickened officer after his condition did not improve, investigators said.

“He immediately started to get better at that point," said Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge.

The officer was taken to Southwest Memorial Hospital but was treated and released by noon. The officer is now at home resting and is in good condition. 

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Narcan is the brand name of the drug naloxone, which is used to block the effects of opioids.

Houston police's narcotics division is working on the investigation.  

The pills have been taken to a lab for testing, police said.

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"We have to have results back from the lab and then we can start talking about that," Houston police Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge said. "With regards to how much we see of fentanyl, if this is fentanyl, I would have to get with narcotics as to what we are seeing citywide. We aren't seeing a whole lot of it, but nevertheless when we see it, it is very dangerous."

Police said they are still looking for the man who was staying at the hotel.

VIDEO: Houston police discuss hospitalization of officer

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