A Whitley County Sheriff’s deputy had to seek medical aid early Tuesday evening after being exposed to what’s believed to be heroin and an unknown substance.
On March 8, Deputy Brandon Prewitt responded to the rest area along I-75 after a concerned citizen called to report that a man and woman appeared to be under the influence.
When Prewitt arrived, he observed a man slumped over the steering wheel and a woman unresponsive in the passenger seat of the vehicle. In plain view was a hypodermic needle, according to a sheriff’s department release.
Prewitt retrieved the needle, which contained a brown liquid, and while doing so some of the liquid from the needle made contact with his gloves, the release stated.
As he continued his investigation, Prewitt began feeling a burning sensation at the location where the liquid landed on his gloves.
After being awoken, the male driver showed signs of intoxication and could not complete field sobriety tests. The female passenger also could not complete field sobriety tests, according to the release.
Deputies found four small bags containing a substance believed to be heroin when they searched the vehicle. Another bag contained a crystal-like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine, which is also known as “ice,” the release stated.
Police also found more needles.
Prewitt arrested Megan Sayne, 25, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Patrick Kenny, 36, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, and charged them both with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center where Sayne is being held in lieu of a $7,500 cash bond, and Kenny is being held without bond, according to the jail’s website.
After he transferred Sayne and Kenny into the custody of the detention center, Prewitt sought medical aid at a local hospital.
“Pending tests will provide further information as to what caused Deputy Prewitt’s injuries. Despite lingering side effects, the sheriff’s department is thankful he was able to return home to his family,” Sheriff Colan Harrell wrote in a release.
“The sheriff’s department is continuing the investigation and asks the public to please keep Deputy Prewitt, his family and all public safety employees in your thoughts or prayers while this nationwide threat continues to spread.”