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Norwalk Police Tackle Drug Suspect; Grab Heroin From Mouth To Prevent OD

Samuel Branch
Samuel Branch Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

NORWALK, Conn. -- Police pulled folds of heroin out of a drug suspect's mouth to prevent him from overdosing after he was tackled following a short foot chase Tuesday afternoon, Norwalk Police said.

Samuel Branch, 18, of 261 Ely Ave., was charged with 13 drug-related counts, two counts of first-degree failing to appear in court, assaulting a police officer and interfering with a police officer. His total bond was set at $150,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25.

Special Services officers were conducting surveillance around 1 p.m. in the area of South Main Street near Grove Street when they spotted Samuel Branch exiting a vehicle at 160 South Main St., around 1:15 p.m. They knew he had warrants for his arrest and immediately moved in to arrest him, at which point Branch took off running, said Lt. Terry Blake.

He continued to run despite several commands to stop, Blake said. During the chase police said they saw him throw a plastic bag on to the roof of a shed at 168 South Main St. 

"He ran 30 more yards and was tackled to the ground by the officers who chased him," Blake said.

He began fighting with the officers and tried to kick them, Blake said, but was eventually subdued and handcuffed. Police spotted what they believed to be folds of heroin in his mouth.

"They encouraged him to spit them out, advising him that the heroin overdose could kill him," Blake said before officers were able to "sweep" the folds out of his mouth by grabbing them.

Blake said officers quickly put a couple of fingers in Branch's mouth and in a sweeping motion remove the contents from his mouth in order to prevent the heroin from being swallowed. Six partially chewed on heroin folds were removed from his mouth, Blake said.

Branch was later transported to Norwalk Hospital after complaining of "opioid ingestion symptoms" Blake said.

Police recovered the plastic bag and discovered what they alleged to contain 12.6 grams of heroin and 3.2 grams of crack cocaine. Police also recovered three cell phones, Blake said.

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