An investigation is underway after an incident at the Kamloops Law Courts landed four deputy sheriffs and a prisoner in hospital.
BCGEU spokesman Dean Purdy told Kamloops this Week the incident took place in the late afternoon on Wednesday as an inmate was being searched in the courthouse’s cellblock.
“Four deputy sheriffs were involved in an altercation where an inmate refused to be searched,” Purdy said. “A scuffle ensued and, during the scuffle, the drugs went airborne.”
Purdy described the drugs as “an unknown powdery substance” that could potentially contain fentanyl or carfentanil.
One of the sheriffs involved in the altercation was also exposed to bodily fluids of the prisoner,” Purdy said.
“It was, I believe, saliva and blood,” Purdy said. “He was exposed to that in his eyes and mouth. All four sheriffs were taken to hospital and treated by doctors and then subsequently released.”
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said Mounties were called at just before 5 p.m.
“Police were advised that during an altercation with a prisoner over a baggie of what was believed to be drugs, the bag was ripped open,” Bush said. “There was concern of contamination and the possibility that the contents could contain fentanyl.”
Kamloops Fire rescue’s hazmat team and paramedics were also called.
The sheriff exposed to the prisoner’s bodily fluids will undergo further treatment as a precaution, Purdy said, noting investigations are likely to come from police, WorkSafe BC and a joint accident investigation under occupational health and safety regulations.