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Police say man spread fentanyl across table at Central Square fast-food place; he's arrested, hazmat team called in

Cambridge Police report arresting a homeless man after, they say, he began "behaving oddly and spreading a considerable amount of a white-looking powder substance over a table" at a Central Square fast-food outlet around 10 a.m. on Friday.

After police arrived, a test showed the powder was fentanyl. Part of the restaurant was shut while a hazmat crew from the Cambridge Fire Department decontaminated both the table he was sitting at and the area around the table, Cambridge PD spokesman Jeremy Warnick said, adding:

The suspect and involved first responders who may have been exposed to the substance were also evaluated. Fortunately, there were no injuries and all involved first responders were cleared.

Dithmar Bulla, 29, who gave a Boston homeless shelter as his address, was charged with possession of a Class A and Class C drugs with intent to distribute.

Police did not identify the restaurant.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

What was he spreading it with? If it was his hands, he's lucky he's not dead--fentanyl is so powerful that you can OD by absorbing trace amounts of it through your skin. The HazMat response is totally justified.

Fentanyl is also absurdly concentrated and obscenely expensive... I'm quite curious as to how this gentleman acquired enough of it that he was able to visibly spread it out over a fast-food tabletop.

(Obligatory: "Sir, this is a Wendy's")

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Voting closed 28

Hey don't comment on something you clearly know nothing about! Not when spreading such fear actively harms people. You're either misinformed, or you're a liar -- the end of the day, which is true doesn't matter, as both are equally harmful.

Now, from people who actually know what they're talking about:

https://harmreduction.org/blog/fentanyl-exposure/

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Voting closed 28

Although in large quantities in a situation like this (some crazy person spreading an unknown substance where people are eating) it's better to be safe because you don't know what the hell is being tossed around.

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Organic chemistry isn't covered in the basic HS curriculum. Leading to an uneducated public that can't tell the difference betweeen Hyrocodone, Oxycodone & Oxycontin and similarly related but very different fentanyl and carfentanil. There were a few reports of carfentanyl exposure and now everyone is acting like run of the mill fentanyl can drop you dead from looking at it because they can't be bothered to pay attention to the details. The media doesn't help with conflating the two constantly.

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And the article you linked to was about carfentanil not fentanyl.

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Who said it was expensive?

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You should use gloves to clean up Fentanyl, but you don't need a haz-mat crew. Fentanyl doesn't go through the skin very effectively: "[Fentanyl] patches took decades and millions of dollars to develop and are still incredibly slow and inefficient."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/29/fentanyl-overdose-...

Dr. Ryan Marino, an emergency medicine physician and toxicologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: https://twitter.com/RyanMarino/status/1021128899772796930

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Voting closed 39

"Unknown white powder". So, while calling in a hazmat team may seem like overkill after the fact, it was a prudent move at the time.

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I'm pretty sure the only fast food restaurant with tables in Central is McDonalds? Maybe Au Bon Pain up the other way, but my money's on McDonalds. Dunkin to my memory has no place to sit.

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The Au Bon Pain closed sometime at the end of December / early January. McDonalds or Dunks were my guesses.

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