San Diego, CA – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department released bodycam on Thursday that showed how close a rookie deputy came to losing his life after getting too close to fentanyl (video below).
The incident occurred on July 3 after San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy David Faiivae and his Field Training Officer, San Diego County Sheriff’s Corporal Scott Crane, searched a vehicle in San Marcos, KSWB reported.
Deputy Crane found a bag of white powder during the search of a red Jeep.
“It could be cocaine or fentanyl,” Cpl. Crane said in the bodycam.
A moment later, the corporal confirmed that the powder had “tested positive for fentanyl.”
He warned the rookie he was training to be very careful handling the fentanyl, the bodycam showed.
“That stuff’s no joke dude,” Cpl. Crane told Deputy Faiivae.
The video of the terrifying incident was released to the public by San Diego County Sheriff William Gore to show just how quickly and deadly fentanyl can be, KSWB reported.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The San Diego County Medical Examiner reported 460 deaths from fentanyl overdoses in 2020, up from 151 fentanyl-related deaths in 2019, KSWB reported.
County officials have said they’re on track to exceed 700 fentanyl deaths this year.
“I was like, ‘Hey dude, too close, you can’t get that close to it,”” Cpl. Crane recalled in the public safety video. “A couple seconds later, he took some steps back and he collapsed.”
Bodycam video showed that one second Deputy Faiivae was standing at the rear of the patrol SUV, and the next he was flat on his back on the pavement.
Cpl. Crane immediately realized what had happened and grabbed Narcan nasal spray.
He ultimately administered two doses of it to Deputy Faiivae, but the rookie had not regained consciousness by the time the ambulance arrived and wasn’t fully revived until after he arrived at the hospital.
The sheriff’s department said it was likely that the deputy had been exposed when he took off his gloves and then put them back on, KSWB reported.
“Exposure to the fumes can cause the reaction that he had,” San Diego County Undersheriff Kelly Martinez said. “But also with dermal exposure, it could have gotten in through the skin in his hands.”
She told KSWB that anecdotal evidence existed pointing to the overuse of hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions that showed that showed those items “actually helps with the transmission to the skin.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING –Graphic Content: