Officer & Deputy Hospitalized Following Substance Exposure

Jerrold Burnham
(Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

Bunnell, FL - A deputy and a Bunnell officer end up in the hospital after both of them were exposed to an unknown substance.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office reports that Deputy Gibson Smith, a K-9 unit, responded to North Fig Street where Bunnell police were on a call regarding a possible burglary back on Saturday (November 2nd).

Once on scene, officers made contact with the victims while Deputy Smith located and secured the defendant, who has been identified as 26-year-old Jerrold Burnham. Once Burnham was located, deputies located a capped hypodermic needle containing a light brown substance and a silver spoon with residue in his pocket.

During the search, FCSO reports that Burnham began to tense up and grab the fence, yelling that he would not go back to jail, as he began to resist arrest.

In the middle of the struggle, Deputy Smith's glove ripped. Burnham then began convulsing and fell unconscious. The deputy and Bunnell Officer Jennifer Baker called for emergency services to get Burnham transported to the hospital. He was booked at Flagler County Jail once he was cleared.

Not long after securing Burnham, both Officer Baker and Deputy Smith fell ill. Smith's pupils became abnormally pinpointed, his face became pale and he began to vomit.

A second EMS crew was called to assess Smith and Baker's conditions. After a check, Smith was administered NARCAN before being transported to AdventHealth Palm Coast for follow up care. Both Smith and Baker were treated for exposure to an unknown substance.

Brittany Kershaw, a public information officer with FCSO, says that Burnham admitted to using heroin and "Molly" (MDMA/Ecstasy). But, they cannot confirm if that's what the deputy was exposed to.

A toxicology screening was conducted on both law enforcement officers to identify the substance they were exposed to. They have been released from the hospital. Follow up care may be recommended based on the findings of the toxicology report. Other charges are also pending against Burnham.


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