Strange substance send officer to ER

Strange substance send officer to ER

A Vidor police officer investigating the fraudulent use of a credit card had to go to a local hospital emergency room for treatment after encountering an unidentified substance that caused him to become ill.

Vidor Police Department (VPD) Officer Manuel Cas- tillo responded to Domino’s Pizza at 970 Main St. in Vidor at about 10:30 p.m. on March 8 in reference to fraud. According to the police report, someone attempted to make a pizza purchase at the store using an Arkansas woman’s account. A Domino’s employee cancelled the order, which had been made at 7:30 p.m., but someone eventually came to pick it up. The employee called the police, and Castillo showed up to investigate.

The officer saw a pickup truck waiting for the questionable order in the drive-thru and approached the driver, identified as 64-year-old Wyatt Paul Phillips.

“Immediately after I started to speak to Phillips, he began to make furtive movements,” Castillo wrote. “Phillips kept reaching towards the center console, his pockets and towards the driver side floorboard.”

Unsure of what the man was trying to conceal, Castillo ordered him to exit the pickup truck. After finding out Phillips had outstanding warrants, the officer placed him in handcuffs. When asking him about the pizza order, Phillips told Castillo that someone else had placed the order and he was just there to pick it up for a friend. Castillo arrested Phillips for the warrants and performed a search of the truck.

Castillo entered Phillips’ truck to move the vehicle and saw a clear plastic baggie containing what he believed to be methamphetamine. The officer then began a search of the vehicle.

“While searching the back seat area, I moved some papers that were covering the floorboard to look under it,” Castillo described. “I immediately smelled a strong, foul odor emitting from the floorboard. I then became light-headed, weak in my body, dizzy and severe numbness from my nose to my forehead.”

Castillo stated that when he became ill he noticed “an unknown, white powdery substance” on the floorboard that “seemed to be wet and stained.” Acadian Ambulance responded, and Castillo was taken to Baptist Beaumont Hospital for evaluation.

“The suspect said it was sugar with Big Red spilled on it,” VPD Chief Rod Carroll said. “We took it for analysis.”

He said he was unsure what the substance actually was and would not know until lab results return.

“Someone may or may not have been operating a portable (meth) lab in the truck at some time,” he speculated. “It could be paint thinner. With all the fentanyl and everything else out there, we’re going to be cautious.”

Carroll said the officer was doing well and had been tested for drug exposure, the results of which are pending.

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