File photo of an Ithaca police car.

Ithaca, N.Y. — Four Ithaca police officers were treated at the hospital on Friday after being exposed to drugs dispersed by a suspect who was attempting to eat them while in police custody.


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All four officers have since been released from the Cayuga Medical Center, a news release said.

Here’s the account of the incident from IPD:

Kenneth Broadnax, 41, of Augusta, Georgia, had been taken into police headquarters around 1:30 a.m. after a traffic stop. At the police HQ, Broadnax was seen “attempting to secrete suspected narcotics in his body,” according to a news release.

A judge signed an order to take Broadnax to CMC to get the drugs removed. There, however, Broadnax removed the drugs and tried to swallow them.

“Prior to being examined by medical staff Broadnax was able to remove the items and attempted to swallow them. After a brief struggle the items were recovered but only after some of the powder substance was dispersed in the treatment room,” a news release said.

The officers were treated for possible exposure and then released from the hospital. The substance was later identified to “likely be heroin,” the release said.

Broadnax now faces charges for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after the substance. He has also been charged with obstructing government administration and tampering with physical evidence.

Broadnax was a passenger in a car that was stopped for vehicle and traffic violations, according to police, and then taken to police HQ during an investigation after drugs were discovered in the car.

Broadnax was later arraigned in Town of Ithaca Court and remanded with no bail pending a later appearance in court.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.