Billerica Police Officer Hospitalized After Exposure to Fentanyl During Arrest
BILLERICA 一 Chief Roy Frost reports that the Billerica Police Department arrested and charged a man with destroying evidence after he allegedly ripped open a bag containing fentanyl and exposed a Billerica officer to the substance, leading to the officer passing out and requiring hospitalization.
CHARLES LANG, AGE 65, OF LOWELL, was arrested and charged with:
• Withholding Evidence From a Criminal Proceeding
• Possession of a Class A Substance
• Possession of a Class E Substance
• Operating with a Suspended License
• Attaching Plates
• Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle
• Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle
On Wednesday, April 19, at approximately 3:30 p.m., a Billerica Police officer patrolling on Webb Brook Road stopped a vehicle with a canceled registration, and learned that the vehicle’s driver, later identified as LANG, also had a suspended license.
As the officer approached LANG’s vehicle after learning that his license was suspended, the officer noticed LANG was allegedly attempting to destroy a small bag containing a powdery substance.
The officer attempted to get LANG out of the vehicle to stop him from destroying potential evidence, and a brief struggle during which LANG allegedly tore open the bag ensued. The powdered substance became airborne and was spread across LANG’s hands and also across the rear quarter panel of the vehicle.
A subsequent search of LANG and his vehicle located a small amount of suspected Adderall that required a prescription. Testing of the powdery substance revealed it to be fentanyl.
Upon taking LANG into custody and returning to the police station, the officer involved in the vehicle stop became lethargic and passed out in the presence of paramedics. Out of concern that the officer had inhaled some of the substance once it had become airborne, paramedics determined that the officer should be transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The officer was later released.
LANG was arraigned Thursday in Lowell District Court.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.