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Lake County correctional officers save man overdosing in courtroom

Three Lake County Sheriff's Office correctional officers saved a man's life in a courtroom Wednesday. Officers Karrie Lee (left), Melissa Dunn (center) and Timothy Specht (right) administered Naloxone to a man suffering from an overdose in a public viewing area.
Three Lake County Sheriff's Office correctional officers saved a man's life in a courtroom Wednesday. Officers Karrie Lee (left), Melissa Dunn (center) and Timothy Specht (right) administered Naloxone to a man suffering from an overdose in a public viewing area.

WAUKEGAN – Three Lake County Sheriff’s Office correctional officers successfully revived a man who was suffering from an opioid overdose in a courtroom.

Lake County officers Karrie Lee and Melissa Dunn and Sgt. Timothy Specht noticed a 24-year-old man slumped over in a public viewing area in a Lake County Sheriff’s Office courtroom.

The man was not in custody or a Lake County jail inmate, but the officers, who transport inmates from jail to court, quickly intervened, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon closer inspection, the officers found the man was unconscious and barely breathing. They determined he likely was suffering from an opioid overdose. The man was given two doses of Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose, and he eventually regained consciousness. He was taken Wednesday morning to a local hospital after the incident for evaluation, and later admitted to consuming Xanax and heroin, before the overdose, according to the release.

“I am very proud of Corrections Sgt. Timothy Specht, Corrections Officer Karrie Lee, and Corrections Officer Melissa Dunn for their quick actions, which resulted in a life being saved, as well as our court security officers who recognized the man was in distress,” Lake County Sheriff Mike Curran said in a statement.

The man was not issued any citations, as he was not in possession of any drugs or related paraphernalia, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Christopher Covelli said in an email.

“In situations like this, we suggest treatment for the person who overdosed,” Covelli said.

Curran said a person overdosing in a courtroom highlights the extent of the national opioid crisis.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with community stakeholders, battling the prevalent opioid problem through education and enforcement,” Curran said. 

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