York deputy saves Seward deputy from potentially fatal drug exposure
"I was burning and freezing all at the same time. I had a very upset stomach. I was not feeling good at all.”
SEWARD, Neb. (KLKN) – It was a routine traffic stop, until it wasn’t.
At 3:20 a.m. on February 12, Seward County Deputy Anthony Gann pulled over a vehicle with four occupants for a traffic violation. He thought the vehicle smelled of alcohol, so he arrested the driver for drunk driving.
As he was heading back to the sheriff’s office, he got a call from dispatch saying that the officers still on scene needed help with the remaining three occupants. One of them was in the backseat of the vehicle and refused to leave the vehicle. Authorities say the suspect was holding a baggie containing meth laced with fentanyl, an opioid so powerful that it can be fatal, even in small doses.
Deputy Gann was forced to intervene.
“During my attempts to extract him from the vehicle, I was assaulted, and during that physical confrontation, I’m assuming I was exposed to the substance,” Gann said.
Gann says he started feeling the effects of the substance shortly after he got the suspect out of the vehicle and took him to a patrol car. Then, it hit him.
“It started off being light-headed,” he said. “I was burning and freezing all at the same time. I had a very upset stomach. I was not feeling good at all.”
York County Deputy Taylor Samek was already on the scene. He noticed that Gann was not doing well.
“When I saw him, he was reclining back in the seat, in his patrol unit, just very lethargic,” Samek said. “It was obviously much different from just a few minutes prior. He was right alongside with me helping me with things.”
Deputy Samek administered Narcan, a substance used to treat drug overdose victims. Shortly after, Deputy Gann was taken to Seward Memorial Hospital for further treatment.
“I definitely think that the situation could have definitely changed and gone downhill extremely fast had Deputy Samek not been there to assist,” Gann said.
Gann says he’s grateful for the way his fellow officers responded to a scary situation. He says he had full confidence that they would be able to help him through.
“At no point was I extremely nervous or scared that, you know, this was gonna be it,” Gann said. “I knew that my fellow officers were going to take care of me.”
Samek was humbled to have played a role in saving Gann’s life, but maintains that it was a team effort.
“The Good Lord put me there, I did a job, and then passed him on to other people, so we all played a part,” Samek said.