Thirty-three individuals found at or near the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway were sent to area hospitals Tuesday by what officials are identifying as a single “bad batch” of the street drug K2.
The first affected individuals were found shortly after 9:30 a.m., when police and emergency medical professionals responded to a 911 call and found five men outside of 362 Stockton Street experiencing the effects of the drug, which include hallucination and disorientation, vomiting, urination and immobility.
At publication time, 14 individuals were being treated at nearby Woodhull Hospital, nine at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, five at Interfaith Medical Center and five at Brooklyn Hospital Center. None of the individuals are likely to die from the drug, and the investigation is ongoing.
The police presence at Myrtle Broadway has increased in recent weeks. In late June reports were released in which nearby residents characterized K2 use at Myrtle Broadway as having reached “epidemic” levels.
On Tuesday night, one officer told a passing individual that the ongoing activity at the intersection was “just cleaning up the neighborhood, that’s all.”
The intersection is also home to a location of START Treatment and Recovery Center, which serves patients struggling with opioid addiction, another major issue in the neighborhood.
A longtime employee of the 24-hour grocery store Mr. Kiwi’s, which has been open on the corner of Myrtle and Broadway for nine years, tells Bushwick Daily that the activity on Tuesday is far from the worst he has seen directly outside the shop’s doors during his tenure there.
At Stay Fresh Deli several blocks down Broadway, an employee had a different perspective on the day’s events. Upon leaving work after a night shift on Tuesday morning, he headed down Stockton Street to catch his bus home. The K2 users he saw scattered on the sidewalk there “looked like they were dead” and were markedly worse off than other users he’d seen in the past, and his initial impression of the sidewalk littered with bodies and surrounded by cops was that it might be the scene of a shooting.
The magnitude of the issue was such that NYPD police vans were being used to transport affected individuals to hospitals, he says.
This is a developing story; check back later for further details.