Two police officers were contaminated with a chemical used in the production of methamphetamine while chasing a man suspected of trespassing on private property Wednesday.
Both officers were treated at the scene and at a nearby hospital and released.The owner of a house at 5845 S. 1900 East called police asking them to get a man out of his property, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's narcotics Sgt. Darren Carr. Apparently, the man had been allowed to live in the residence by the people who had leased the property but who were not living there anymore.
Officers Richard Suarez and John Taylor arrived at the house abut noon and tried to arrest the man, Carr said. However, the man ran into the garage and the officers followed.
While fleeing, the man tripped and spilled a glass flask containing a chemical, starting a chemical reaction that filled the garage with toxic fumes, Carr said. Both deputies and the man experienced respiratory distress after being exposed to the chemical.
Emergency workers responded to the scene and decontaminated the three victims, Carr said. They were also taken to St. Mark's Hospital where they were treated and released.
Police determined the chemical in the garage was part of a working methamphetamine lab. Finished methamphetamine was also found at the property, Carr said.
The man, 30, was taken into custody and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of possession of a methamphetamine lab, Carr said.