A California deputy trainee collapsed and almost died while examining fentanyl during a drug bust as he overdosed from it. Heart-stopping footage shows San Diego Sheriff's deputy David Faiivae collapsing after he was exposed to the opioid while processing drugs during an arrest in San Marcos last month.
The incident happened in the presence of another officer, which proved to be lucky for Faiivae as he was soon attended by him who gave him a reverse-overdose drug that saved his life. The bodycam footage was released on Thursday by police warning people how the drug could be fatal.
Brush with Death
Bodycam footage shows the pair processing drugs after an arrest before Crane advises Faiivae not to get too close to the suspected fentanyl. The rookie deputy is then seen examining the white powder in a car on July 3. At that time, he only knew that it was some drug but not fentanyl.
However, Faiivae, who was being accompanied by his training officer, Corporal Scott Crane, guessed it to be fentanyl and warned him. "That stuff's no joke, it is super dangerous," Crane is heard saying according to the video put out by police as a warning. Crane alerts him again saying he is "too close" when Faiivae suddenly stiffens up â and collapses on the ground, the bodycam footage shows.
Crane, who is an experienced officer, immediately takes control of the situation seeing Faiivae collapse and struggle to breathe. "I got you, OK? I'm not gonna let you die," Crane tells him, putting Narcan in both of the officer's nostrils. Narcan reverses overdose and can check the effects of the synthetic opioid that can be 100 times more potent than morphine.
Faiivae was luckily saved, thanks to Crane who immediately applied medication on him.
Faiivae was lucky that he didn't die. The San Diego Police on Thursday released the bodycam footage and warned people of the dangers of fentanyl. "He was ODing," Crane recalled later, with the footage showing Faiivae lying rigid on the ground from the accidental exposure.
At one point Crane too seems nervous despite administering him with Narcan. "Just breathe buddy, breathe," Crane says as he tries to remove Faiivae's bulletproof vest from under his uniform and prevent him from choking.
He later recalled: "I was trying to get him to focus on just breathing and because with fentanyl, you can't breathe."
Faiivae said it was "as though my lungs just locked up, I couldn't breathe. I was trying to gasp for breath but I couldn't breathe at all." Footage shows Crane holding Faiivae's head as they wait for medics to arrive, telling him 'talk to me'.
"I'm sorry... sorry," Faiivae he heard saying later to Crane.
"Don't be sorry, there's nothing to be sorry about," Crane says. "I got you okay, I'm not going to let you die."
Video footage shows the fire department arriving at the scene around after 4pm and putting Faiivae onto a gurney.