But some overdosed again, including one person who was treated for three separate overdoses.
Police will name those arrested by Friday evening, they said, while they swarmed the park and searched peoples’ homes looking for K2, the banned synthetic marijuana they believe is responsible for the overdose outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
Fire, police, and EMS personnel have said they will continue to staff a command post on the New Haven Green in case of further overdoses. He is accused of possession of a controlled substance. Melendez was out on parole prior to his arrest today.
People started falling ill Wednesday morning, mostly on the New Haven Green near Yale University.
An emergency medical technician for the New Haven Fire Department told the Register that he’s never had such an abnormal day at work in the five years he’s been there.
Officials said Wednesday’s response was a tremendous drain on the fire department.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with Mayor Toni Harp and Campbell on the Green Friday morning.
The Green is located in downtown New Haven and reportedly attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year.
On the upper green, the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center was set up with nurses and medics working hand in hand, along with a large police presence that will stay here and in the future until they’re able to get a handle on this, not just helping those in need.
“The man was arrested within the last hour by members of the NHPD Intelligence Unit”, police said in a release.
Some individuals were unconscious; others were vomiting or exhibiting other overdose symptoms. He wanted citizens who had purchased drugs to be aware.
“We’ve been trying to get the word out to make sure people understand please not to use this K2, it is clearly contaminated”, he pleaded from the steps of City Hall.
Authorities say they are unsure as to where the drugs came from, he said.
“So we don’t see it in Bridgeport because we are always vigilant”, Perez says.
Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide. The danger lies in the drug’s unpredictability and its tendency to be cut with potent opioids or in some cases an anticoagulant used in rat poison.
Synthetic marijuana has caused similar mass hospitalizations in one localized area in the past.
Parker, who was arrested Wednesday, was charged with drug crimes after being found in possession of the K2 bags, Campbell said.
Alston said drug overdoses in New Haven, as in other cities, are at epidemic proportions and that the city is in the grip of a public health crisis.