NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Officials say three arrests have been made after at least 76 people have overdosed in New Haven on Wednesday.
The city of New Haven has issued a Public Health Alert following the overdoses. Police have not released the names of the arrestees.
Police Chief Anthony Campbell said that the overdoses are now a citywide problem. The first overdoses were reported on or near the New Haven Green, but victims are now spread out across the city.
Fire Chief John Alston Jr. said a news conference midday Wednesday that the victims apparently consumed the synthetic marijuana known as K2. Around 8:55 p.m. officials with the city of New Haven stated that DEA testing confirmed the overdoses were caused by K2 with no additives. However, an official with Yale New Haven Hospital stated earlier in the night that the substance was believed to be laced with Fentanyl.
“Today New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs – as many as 46 cases are confirmed in the city since last night,” New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said. “I’m extremely grateful for the timely and effective work of first responders who helped revive, transport, and save these victims.”
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy added, “Today’s emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals. The substance behind these overdoses is highly dangerous and must be avoided. The state Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have been assisting New Haven officials throughout the day. I have spoken with Mayor Harp and assured her that the state remains committed and ready to assist their response efforts wherever needed.”
A few people became ill late Tuesday night, but the majority of victims have been found on Wednesday.
Web Extra: News 8’s Stephanie Simoni was first on the scene to report on the overdoses
Allston said that several victims were found unconscious. Some were nauseous, while others appeared to be lethargic.
New Haven Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana said that there have been no deaths related to these overdoses. All victims are being treated at area hospitals.
“We are doing our best to get people to the hospital in the safest and most practical and efficient manner. We’ve heard from people on the green that it potentially included PCP, and some of the reactions of the patients would suggest there was an opioid involved as well.”
Officials said that some of the victims were given anti-overdose drugs, but they did not work. According to authorities, the majority of the victims were transported to hospitals while just a handful were treated and refused to go to the hospital.
By 9:50 p.m., the number of confirmed overdoses jumped to 76.
Web Extra: Ofc. David Hartman shares Wednesday night update on New Haven overdoses
The New Haven Fire Department is receiving mutual aid from all surrounding towns.
Web Extra: How emergency crews respond to overdoses
Web Extra: EMS Medical Director Dr. Sandy Bogucki explains the dangers of K2
As family and friends are preparing to lay celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to rest, one of Bourdain’s closest friends and mentors, Jacques Pepin, remembered his life and legacy from his home in Madison, Connecticut.
To Pepin, he was ‘Tony’.
“I had a great deal of respect for him, because he was the real McCoy, you know?”
That respect went both ways; with Pepin himself as one of the world’s most renowned chefs.
“I hope you will forgive my flesh complexion, idiotic grin, and high pitched squeaky voice. I am so honored and thrilled to be here sitting next to this man,” Bourdain once said of his friend.
Their mutual respect for each other grew, and the two chefs became close friends.
“He was amazingly unpretentious, even shy I would say. Certainly he has no patience with snob-ism, with fakery.”
Bourdain was a great chef, writer, and story teller. Pepin remembered Bourdain’s ability to put a spotlight on great food, and the chefs who bring it to us, as well as the process that brings it all together.
“He could extoll the cooking of a street cook somewhere in Malaysia, or Alabama, as much as he could extoll the cooking of the greatest chef in New York, or any other place.”
Bourdain helped to highlight the magnetism of amazing food, and making it more accessible to everyone, through his journeys around the world. Pepin, like many others, learned from Bourdain about so much more than food.
“When you bring food into the equation, you bring tradition, you bring table habits, you bring social behavior, the politics of a country, the economy of a country, like he did when he went to Tehran, or in Lebabon.”
Just one month ago, Pepin sent his friend one of his paintings.
“He sent me an email a couple of weeks ago; so it kind of destroyed my head for a few days, you know, when I learned what happened.”
Bourdain’s death was a shock to him, as well as so many others, but the tough topic of death was something Bourdain discussed before in a 2015 interview.
“I dont want to be with loved ones. I want to be like an old lion, and crawl off into a bush alone.”
Pepin said Bourdain’s death is just a terrible situation.
“What could we have done that night? Maybe nothing, maybe knocking at his door, maybe calling him and it bypassed that night. Its terrible.”
Discussing the loss of his friend, he said Bourdain embodied everything that a chef is supposed to be.
” He had the character of what a chef is. The reverence, and the love for it. We will feel his loss very much because he was absolute unique to us.”
NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Nine officers were injured and human remains were found on the property of a North Haven home after a police standoff resulted in an explosion on Quinnipiac Avenue.
North Haven First Selectman Michael J. Freda said in a press conference Wednesday that it started with a wife was being barricaded in the home for three days.
The woman was able to escape the home, Freda said. Police were then called to the home where the husband had barricaded himself. He has not been taken into police custody.
Several SWAT members had gotten close to the residence and were ready to go in before a barn at the home at 385 Quinnipiac Avenue exploded.
The explosion happened around 8:15 p.m., according to witnesses.
Police say nine members of a regional SWAT Team that included five East Haven officers, three North Haven officers and one Branford officer were injured in the explosion. All their injuries were consistent with the blast.
Yale New Haven Hospital says that they received all nine patients and that they are all in fair condition.
East Haven’s mayor said that of the East Haven Police Department members injured, two have been released from the hospital and two more have broken legs.
Police say that the fire has been extinguished and that they did find human remains of a person in one of the structures. The remains have not been identified at this time so it’s unknown if it is the suspect.
Fire crews will remain on scene as there are a number of structures in the back of the home that they are still working to extinguish. They are also investigating the cause and origin of the fire.
Police added that while this stemmed from a domestic incident, the woman was not home at the time of the explosion and that this was not a hostage incident.
At least 100 first responders were on the scene following the explosion. More than 30 New Haven SWAT and Bomb Squad officers were assisting in the standoff.
The FBI and the State Police Major Crime Squad also responded to the scene with mutual aid.
A News 8 crew reported that police officers used a loudspeaker to ask a man to come out of the house.
A witness told News 8 that they heard gun shots coming from the house.
“We had just gotten done eating dinner, we got up, we heard the explosion, it knocked my wife to the floor,” said one neighbor. “I huddled my family into the bedroom, locked the door, and came out to see what was going on. You could see the house was fully engulfed, you could hear the rounds popping off, I guess he had ammunition in there.”
A neighbor said police officers told neighbors to get in their houses, as more explosions might happen.
“You could hear them every couple of minutes or so over the loudspeaker, just saying, ‘John, please come to the window, please show yourself, we are here to help.’ You could tell they were doing everything they could to have a peaceful solution to this.”
“Right around 8:15, 8:30, a flash went off. The explosion went right through the windows, and hit my roof, and my whole house shook,” said one neighbor. “We were freaking out. I thought my life was going to end.”
Authorities have closed Quinnipiac Avenue between McArthur Road and Pentway Lane until further notice. They say drivers can expect to not be able to go through all day.
Also, police say residents will not be able to access side streets in the area either.
However, there are detours in the area. School buses are aware of these detours.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy issued the following statement on the incident:
“Our hearts go out to the brave first responders who put their lives on the line, and we wish those injured a safe and speedy recovery. Yesterday’s tragedy serves as a stark reminder that domestic violence is a serious issue that must continue to be addressed and remain at the forefront of the national conversation. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, please know that you have a voice and there are resources available to help.”
No further details are available at this time.