Police: Several treated after suspect rips open bag of white powder at Elliot Hospital

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - Authorities say several emergency department workers at New Hampshire’s Elliot Hospital and two Manchester police officers were treated Thursday morning after they were exposed to an unidentified white powder while handling a patient.

Officers arrested Theodore Macenas, 26, around 3:45 a.m. after his girlfriend stated that he had struck her in the parking lot of McDonald’s on South Willow Street.

According to police, officers located 12 Diazepam pills inside of his pockets during a search, and noted that he appeared to be under the influence of drugs during the booking process. Macenas then requested medical assistance and was taken to the hospital.

Police say an officer accompanied Macenas to hospital bathroom around 9:30 a.m., at which point he attempted to swallow an unknown powdery substance. A struggle with the officer ensued, causing the bag to rip and spill on the bathroom floor and adjacent hallway, according to police.

The two police officers, along with an Elliot Hospital security guard and several emergency department staff members, were treated for the exposure to the unknown substance.

Manchester fire crews and a hazmat team responded to the scene to decontaminate the affected areas.

Those who were exposed were treated for high blood pressure, headaches, nausea and rapid heart beat. They were released.

The powdery substance is currently being tested at the New Hampshire State Laboratory to determine its content.

Macenas is charged with domestic simple assault, possession of a controlled drug, falsifying physical evidence and three counts of possession of a controlled drug.

No additional details were immediately available.




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