The total victim count from yesterday's mass K2 overdose in Bedford-Stuyvesant is now up to 33 people, all of whom have since been hospitalized.
At around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, police responded to reports of individuals who appeared to be experiencing an "altered mental status," near the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ stop in Bed-Stuy. EMTs took a number of people to Woodhull and Wyckoff hospitals, where they were listed in serious but stable condition. Officers then canvassed the blocks surrounding the stop—considered the new epicenter of the K2 epidemic—and found several dozen people in various stages of overdose.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 13, 2016
“It’s like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,” Brian Arthur, 38, told the Times. "This drug truly paralyzed people." Witnesses told reporters people were erratically wandering the streets or slumped on the sidewalk. Arthur also told the Post, “They didn’t know their whereabouts, and some couldn’t even get up off the floor. One guy was even trying to hold himself up with a Johnny pump [fire hydrant]. It was ridiculous."
A police source told the Post that Myrtle & Broadway is "ground zero" for K2 addicts. "They have people there who are zonked out on K2 all the time," the source told the tabloid. Cops have reportedly been investigating Big Boy Deli at 928 Broadway, which they believe supplied this particular bad batch of the drug. "[Since] this last week, the police are coming every day and the people are still smoking. The sad thing is the police know where they're selling it. But they can't raid it every day. They raid that store once a month," Freddie Smith, who lives at a local homeless shelter, told DNAinfo.
The NYPD confirmed to Gothamist that one Big Boy Deli worker was arrested during a raid on June 30th and charged with unlawful sale of synthetic cannabis.
The Health Department says they're monitoring emergency rooms across the city for more K2 overdoses, and this afternoon Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will distribute flyers and speak with area residents about the danger of the drug, which can cause anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, vomiting, violent behavior, and other ills.
All 33 individuals are expected to survive.