Dramatic body camera footage shows that a sheriff’s deputy in California nearly died after being exposed to fentanyl at an arrest last month.
As seen in a public safety video released by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday, Deputy David Faiivae was exposed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, on July 3.
In video, which also features bodycam footage from the incident, Cpl. Scott Crane says he was helping train Faiivae on the day of the arrest. He explained that the deputy “found a white substance that he suspected was drugs.”
“I was like, ‘hey dude, too close.’ You can’t get that close to it. A couple seconds later, he took some steps back, and he collapsed,” Crane said.
Crane can be seen in the bodycam footage giving Faiive a nasal spray of naloxone, an anti-opioid overdose medication.
“I remember just not feeling right, and then I fell back, and I don’t remember anything after that,” Faiivae says in the public safety video. “It was in an instant.”
“I couldn’t breathe,” he added. “I was trying to gasp for breath, but I couldn’t breathe at all.”
When Faiivae is heard speaking again in the bodycam footage after collapsing, Crane told him, “I’ve got you, OK? I’m not going to let you die.”
After emergency personnel arrived to transport Faiivae to an area hospital, Crane said he “again” reacted to the drug.
San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore in the public safety video warned viewers about the dangers of fentanyl, noting that deaths from the drug in California have increased nearly 46% in the last year.
Overdose deaths spiked to 93,000 in 2020, compared to 72,000 in 2019. Officials have pointed to fentanyl as a key driver of the fatalities.