DARKE COUNTY — Four Darke County Sheriff Deputies and a man being booked into the Darke County Jail were sent to the hospital Tuesday after coming in contact with an unknown white powder.
On April 17 at approximately 1 p.m. Darke County Sheriff’s Deputies and Corrections Officers were in the process of booking a man into the jail when they were exposed to the white powder.
Greenville Police Department transported 37-year-old Stephen A. Garner Jr. to the Darke County Jail after being arrested at the request of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. After arriving at the Jail and during the search and intake process, multiple plastic baggies containing a white powdery substance dropped from Garner’s body.
“Garner immediately attempted to retrieve the items while Corrections Officers ordered him to drop them. At some point Garner opened some of the bags exposing white powder on the floor, himself and the officers. Deputies and Corrections Officers were able to gain control of Garner and secure him in a holding cell,” said Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker. “A very short time later Deputies and Officers began to feel light headed and ill. Garner became unconscious and unresponsive.”
The jail staff requested additional deputies to respond and assist. Greenville Township Fire and Rescue responded with multiple units to the Jail. Detectives, Deputies from the road and off-duty Corrections Officers responded to assist.
“A total of four deputies and Garner were transported to Wayne Healthcare. Some subjects were treated with Narcan during this event,” said Whittaker.
The Jail was locked down and closed temporarily while the unknown substance was collected and the area decontaminated. The Jail was out of service for approximately 2 hours during the investigation and decontamination. No other inmates were at risk during the event and they were secured in their respective wards.
“The deputies that were transported have since been treated and released from the hospital. The Garner subject has been turned over to the Ohio Adult Parole Authority,” Whittaker said.
Samples of the substance will be sent to the crime lab for processing and identification. A criminal investigation into this incident is underway. At the conclusion of the case, it will be forwarded to the Darke County Prosecutor to review for possible criminal charges against Garner.