Oak Hill, WV – A fleeing suspect attacked two Oak Hill police officers by throwing a white powder in their faces during a physical altercation on Tuesday, causing both officers to suffer drug overdoses, according to investigators.
The incident occurred after a lone Oak Hill Police Department (OHPD) officer stopped a vehicle in the area of the Lochgelly overpass shortly before 6 p.m. on Sept. 27, Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley said in a press release on Wednesday.
The officer was speaking with the occupants of the suspect vehicle when a passenger suddenly jumped out of the car and took off running, according to Sheriff Fridley.
The officer chased after the suspect, who then “began to physically be combative,” the sheriff said.
A second officer arrived at the scene and jumped into the fray just before the suspect allegedly attacked them with a white powder.
“During the struggle, the subject reached into his pocket and ripped open a bag, believed to be opiate narcotics in powder form, and threw it into the officers’ faces,” Sheriff Fridley said.
After the officers got the violent suspect into custody, one of the officers suddenly collapsed to the ground and started “actively overdosing,” according to the sheriff.
“Shortly after the second officer began to exhibit symptoms of the same,” he added.
An off-duty nurse who happened to be passing by stopped to help the officers – a move that proved to be lifesaving.
“Thankfully… [the nurse] helped render aid and administer NARCAN, which ultimately saved the lives of these officers,” Sheriff Fridley said.
The officers were both transported to Plateau Medical Center, where they were treated and cleared to continue their recoveries at home.
They have both returned to duty, WVNS reported.
The unknown powdery substance has been sent to the West Virginia State Police laboratory in Charleston to be identified.
“Apparently, [it’s] something pretty powerful that would’ve put both officers almost completely down, one of them completely down,” Oak Hill Police Chief Mike Whisman told WVNS.
Chief Whisman noted that both officers required multiple doses of NARCAN to reverse the effect of their overdoses.
The suspect, Keith Deshon Adams, was booked into jail on a charge of attempted murder, according to Sheriff Fridley.
A second suspect was able to escape during the incident and remained at-large on Wednesday.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department Detective’s Bureau is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident.