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Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Headquarters Evacuated, Seven Officers Hospitalized

What appeared to be a routine arrest, ended with seven Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers in the hospital. Officers arrived outside the See’s Candy on El Camino Real around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, after receiving reports of a man urinating in public.

The officers stopped the man and found out that he had two outstanding warrants in San Luis Obispo. He was arrested and a small package with an unknown substance inside of it was taken from the man.

Around 1:50 a.m. on Feb. 14, an officer was processing the unknown substance at DPS headquarters when he came into contact with it.


“He had an immediate reaction. He was treated by other officers on scene and then by EMS personnel,” said Capitan James Choi of Sunnyvale DPS. “Six of our other officers who were supporting him and providing aid were also taken to the hospital.”

The officer who reacted to the substance is still in the hospital under observation. At this time, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The six other officers that were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure were examined and released. Meanwhile, the police headquarters was evacuated.

“[We] evacuated the whole department and the hazmat team made sure it was contained,” said Choi. “Then we went into decontamination.”

Both headquarters and the squad cars that the suspect came into contact with were decontaminated as a precautionary measure.

The suspect told officers the substance was fentanyl, but that has not been confirmed. The substance will be sent to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab for further processing.

Headquarters was reopened around 7 a.m. on Feb. 14.


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