The deputy and the officer were released from AdventHealth. Follow-up care may be recommended based on the findings of the toxicology report.
By: Shannon Martin
Flagler County Sheriff's Office
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on North Fig Street in Bunnell to assist the Bunnell Police Department on a call regarding a possible burglary.
Once on scene, a BPD officer made contact with the victims while an FCSO deputy located and secured the defendant, Jerrold Burnham. Deputies found a capped hypodermic needle with a light brown substance in Burnham’s pocket along with a silver metal spoon with a burnt residue.
Burnham began to tense up and grab the fence yelling that he would not go back to jail and began to resist arrest. During the struggle Deputy Smith’s protective glove ripped. Burnham then began convulsing and fell unconscious. The deputy and the officer called for emergency medical services to take Burnham to the hospital. He was later booked at the Flagler County Jail by the BPD on a variety of charges after he was medically cleared by the hospital.
Immediately after securing Burnham, both law enforcement officers fell ill. The deputy's pupils became abnormally pinpointed, his face pale and nauseous, and he began to vomit. A second rescue unit was called to assess the deputy and the officer's conditions. After a check by EMS, the deputy was administered NARCAN for narcotics exposure and taken by ambulance to AdventHealth Palm Coast for follow-up care. Once at Advent Care, the deputy and the officer were treated for exposer to an unknown substance. A full toxicology screening was conducted in an attempt to identify the substance that they were exposed to.
“Our men and women in uniform face countless dangers every day,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “When law enforcement officers answer a call, they never really know what they are walking in to. They only know that they could be putting their life on the line to save someone else. I saw both of them at the hospital and you could tell they had been exposed to a very dangerous narcotic, probably heroin laced with something."
The deputy and the officer were released from AdventHealth. Follow-up care may be recommended based on the findings of the toxicology report. Additional charges for Burnham are pending.