METHUEN — Mayor James P. Jajuga and Chief Joseph Solomon report that a Methuen Police Officer is being evaluated at a local hospital Wednesday evening after he came into contact with Fentanyl, after a prisoner allegedly ripped open a bag of white powder that had been taped to his groin, which was discovered during booking.
KYLE DENNIS, AGE 28, OF METHUEN had already been arrested on three outstanding warrants and will face several additional charges.
DENNIS, who is known to police, was arrested after a Methuen Police Officer recognized him standing on Broadway at 4 p.m. Wednesday. As DENNIS was being booked and processed at the police station, a needle fell from the area around his pants. Officers searched him, and DENNIS allegedly grabbed a plastic bag, which had been taped between his legs, ripped it open and spread its contents out all over the booking area and onto Methuen Police Officer Patrick Waldron, who was booking the suspect at the time.
Officer Waldron and DENNIS were transported to an area hospital. DENNIS was later released and transported to the Lawrence Police Department for further processing.
DENNIS was wanted on three warrants in Massachusetts courts on the following charges:
- Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Giving a False Name to Police
- Possession of a Class A Substance
- Possessing a Firearm without an FID, Improper Storage of a Firearm, and Possessing Ammunition without an FID.
DENNIS is also a wanted fugitive in the State of New Hampshire.
In addition to his arrest warrants, DENNIS is now being charged with:
- Possession of a Class A Substance (Fentanyl)
- Hindering a Police Investigation
- Giving a False Name to Police
- Defacement of Property
- Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, to wit Fentanyl
The Methuen Police Department cell block was cordoned off and any other prisoners being arrested and booked by Methuen Police will be diverted to other police departments until the area is properly cleaned.
Officer Waldron is a decorated police officer who was commended last summer for saving the life of a 64-year-old resident who had suffered a medical emergency and went into cardiac arrest.
“Tonight we bear witness to two very different people. One, a decorated, honest, good police officer doing his job. The other, a career criminal, gun offender and drug offender wanted in two states on at least four warrants, who was willing to risk his own life and endanger the lives of police officers by his alleged actions,” Chief Solomon said. “I am pleased to say that Officer Waldron is doing well and is expected to be OK, but we can never be too careful with the poison that is Fentanyl in our communities.”
“This incident highlights the dangers our police officers face every day, even inside the confines of their own police station, at the hands of desperate, dangerous individuals,” Mayor Jajuga said. “Tonight, a career criminal knowingly put the lives of our officers in danger.”
DENNIS will likely be arraigned Thursday in Lawrence District Court.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.