Authorities at Nassau's jail seized ketamine from an inmate's cell Monday, according to sources who said the drug sickened numerous correction officials after it was recovered from the quarters of a man accused of dragging a police officer at a traffic stop.
Exposure to the anesthetic, a popular club drug, made one correction official seriously ill, according to officials familiar with the case.
Two Nassau jail sergeants and four correction officers went to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment before their release the same day, with one vomiting and having a blood pressure spike and others feeling dizzy, a source said.
A spokeswoman for County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday that jail officials couldn’t comment because of a pending investigation.
Nassau district attorney’s office spokeswoman Miriam Sholder confirmed that prosecutors have a probe underway, but she gave no details. "We're aware of the incident," she said in a statement Tuesday, adding that her office "is concerned about the safety of our corrections officers.”
Sources identified the inmate who’s under investigation in the case as Dwayne Henderson, 22, of Hempstead, but said Tuesday that no criminal charges had been filed yet.
Henderson’s defense attorney, Vincent Trimarco Jr., said Tuesday he didn’t know of any new charges against his client.
“I have no knowledge of any of the new allegations and have not been contacted by law enforcement,” the Smithtown lawyer added.
Acting on a tip, officials allegedly found about 120 grams of ketamine in powder form inside Henderson’s cell Monday morning, sources said. Police arrested Henderson in May after authorities said he dragged and ran over a Nassau police officer during a traffic stop in Hempstead for speeding.
Police said at the time that officers ordered Henderson out of a BMW when they learned he had a suspended license. But police said Henderson refused and sped off, dragging Officer Rick Bruno while his hand was caught in a passenger side handle.
Bruno, a U.S. Army veteran and brain cancer survivor, told Newsday later that he saw one of the car’s rear tires run over his left foot. Authorities said the officer also suffered knee and elbow injuries as he was dragged about 60 feet.
Police said they arrested Henderson in Uniondale after a brief pursuit and struggle, also recovering a bag that appeared to have crack in it.
Court records show Henderson pleaded not guilty on Dec. 4 to an indictment charging him with offenses including felony drug possession and assaulting an officer.