Harrowing body-cam video captures San Diego deputy trainee overdosing from Fentanyl exposure

When San Diego County Deputy David Faiivae put on his uniform and badge July 3, 2021, little did he know that he’d be lying close to death in a matter of hours.

But for the quick thinking of Corporal Scott Crane, the deputy’s field training officer, Faiivae may not have survived his first exposure to Fentanyl, and the entire incident was captured on a harrowing video.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced in a press release that the body camera footage of the traumatic incident, along with interviews from Deputy Faiivae and Corporal Crane, were used to create a public safety video “about the dangerous and often deadly effects of Fentanyl.”

Crane explains in the video that they were on their first radio call of the day and that Deputy Faiivae found a white substance in a vehicle that he suspected was drugs. He further noted that he told the trainee that he was too close to the substance.

“It tested positive for Fentanyl, that stuff is no joke it’s super dangerous,” he can be heard telling Faiive on the body cam footage.

In a matter of seconds, the deputy is seen collapsing to the ground.

The Dangers of Fentanyl – San Diego County Sheriff’s Department from San Diego County Sheriff on Vimeo.

The corporal quickly radioed for help as he rushed to his patrol vehicle to grab a dose of Narcan, which is used to treat a suspected opioid overdose emergency.

“I remember not feeling right and I fall back and … I don’t remember anything after that,” Deputy Faiivae said in the training video.

“Breathe, buddy, breathe,” Crane implored, as he moved quickly to remove Faiivae’s bulletproof vest and turn him on his side. “Faiivae, are you okay? Talk to me.”

The struggling deputy appeared to apologize to the training officer, though it’s hard to pick up his audio.

“No, no. Don’t be sorry,” Crane is heard replying. “You’re okay, don’t be sorry. There’s nothing to be sorry about, I’ve got you okay. I’m not going to let you die.”

The training video cuts to Faiivae, who is fighting back tears as he listens to Crane’s comments.

At this point, a vehicle is heard screeching to a stop. Crane calls out, “I need Narcan!”

Another officer appears in the footage and he administers another dose as Crane holds Faiivae head.

“I’m trying to not let him go, like I wanted him to know he wasn’t alone ” the corporal recounted, as the body cam video footage showed him telling the deputy, “I got you, I got you.”

“It’s an invisible killer, he would have died in that parking lot if he was alone,” Crane said, further explaining that after an ambulance arrives, the deputy continues to OD all the way to the hospital.

The training video cuts to a recovered Faiivae, who said, “I don’t think people realize the severity of just how deadly it really is. I’m Deputy David Faiivae and I almost died of a Fentanyl overdose.”

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore appears on screen and explains that Fentanyl is fifty times more potent than heroin and that overdoses are on the rise throughout the county, up more than 46% in the last year alone.

He added, “Just a few grains of fentanyl can be absorbed through the body and lead to respiratory failure and even death.”

There has been a dramatic rise in seizures of the powerful synthetic opioid along the now wide-open southern border with Mexico, as Fentanyl is quickly becoming a drug of choice for the cartels. The number of OD deaths are difficult to calculate as a result, just as it’s hard to know how many Americans are dying from the continued import of COVID-19 under the Biden administration.

“Please take the time to share this video,” Sheriff Gore concluded.  “It might save the life of your son, daughter, friend or loved one.”

Tom Tillison

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