Police make arrest after 46 people overdose at CT park

Paramedics were stationed at the New Haven Green in CT, which borders part of Yale University. An additional three people overdosed at the park Tuesday night (Aug. 14).

Authorities suspect K2, a manmade cannabinoid, is to blame for the incident and noted that the substance may have been laced with other drugs.

Three arrests have been made in the case, Hartman said, but officials can not say for certain if all three arrested or just one of them are directly responsible for the overdoses.

Fire Department first responders were handling so many calls that they were experiencing "compassionate-care fatigue" and had to be rotated off the engine companies, said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston.

"The man was arrested within the last hour by members of the NHPD Intelligence Unit", police said in a release.

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Two of the ODs were life-threatening, and some people did not respond when the anti-overdose medication Naloxone was administered, he said. They were transported to area hospitals including Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael.

One arrest has been made in connection with the overdoses.

Fontana said the patients had symptoms of increased heart rates, decreased respiratory rates and a lot of vomiting.

NBC reported that the majority of the 76-plus overdoses took place on or near the Green.

"Today's emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals", Malloy said, according to the Courant. He said that in addition to state charges, the suspects could also face federal charges.

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Felix Melendez was "known" to police and was out on parole when he was arrested Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Anthony Campbell told the New Haven Register.

Sandy Bogucki, EMS medical director in New Haven, said they heard from people on the green Wednesday morning that whatever was consumed "potentially" contained PCP and that some of the reactions of the patients in the emergency department suggest an opioid was involved.

"We have far fewer sleeping on the Green but the drug use is bad", he said.

New Haven police said one person is in custody.

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

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More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana July 4 in New Haven, The Associated Press reported at the time. So far, there have been few scientific studies of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain, but researchers do know that some of them bind more strongly than marijuana to the cell receptors affected by THC, and can produce much stronger effects. By late Wednesday night there had been no deaths reported.

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