One man is dead and two others have been hospitalized after overdosing at a gas station in Westchester in an incident police say may be linked to fentanyl.
Members of the Yonkers Police and Fire Departments along with units from Empress Emergency Medical Services responded to the gas station at 200 South Broadway on a report of a man down at about 7:45 p.m. on Friday, April 12.
First responders located two men who were unconscious and unresponsive; one appeared to be in cardiac arrest and the other had difficulty breathing, said Yonkers PD Det. Sgt. Dean Politopoulos.
Units immediately rendered medical aid and transported the victims to nearby Saint Joseph’s Hospital. At the same time, a third man was located at the scene in a passenger sedan in an altered mental state and apparently under the influence of narcotics, Politopoulos said. He was also transported to Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Officers cordoned off the scene and initiated an investigation into a potential overdose scenario.
Shortly after arrival at the hospital, one of the victims was pronounced deceased. He has been identified as Mauricio Nunez, a 43-year-old resident of Locust Hill Avenue in Yonkers, said Politopoulos.
The two other victims were also from Yonkers: a 62-year-old male resident of Warburton Avenue, and a 43-year-old male resident of Highland Avenue are both listed as in serious but stable condition.
Detectives from the Narcotics Unit and Crime Scene Unit responded to the scene, interviewing witnesses and subjects, reviewing surveillance video, and processing forensic evidence, said Politopoulos.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the three may have been ingesting what they believed to be cocaine inside a van at the gas station, and at that time were exposed to a still unknown debilitating substance that may be fentanyl or a fentanyl derivative, Politopoulos said.
The van and sedan were secured at scene and transported to the Crime Scene Unit annex at the 4th Precinct where search warrants were executed yesterday evening to recover additional evidence, according to Politopoulos.
In an abundance of caution for the safety of Yonkers residents and first responders, the Yonkers Police Emergency Service Unit and Yonkers Fire Department Hazardous Materials Unit put safeguards into place at the 4th Precinct, including the temporary closure of Shonnard Place between Park Avenue and Palisade Avenue.
There were no additional exposures and the vehicles have been sealed and decontaminated, according to Politopoulos.
As investigators are actively working to identify the source of the narcotics, the Yonkers Police Department is issuing a Public Safety Announcement to area residents not to consume these substances.
Any illegal drug, including cocaine, heroin, and opioids, has the potential to be deadly on its own. Cut or laced with fentanyl, the risk factor of overdosing and dying increases exponentially, the department notes.
Fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives, even in the smallest quantities, if consumed will in many cases result in death.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or illegal narcotics is encouraged to contact the Yonkers Police Narcotics Unit at (914) 377-TIPS – all calls will remain confidential.
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