MARBLEHEAD — A Peabody man exposed to chemical pesticides touched off a hazmat response at the Marblehead police station and Salem Hospital.
Shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, there was a 911 about a suspicious person who came out of the woods near Churchill Road and was in a resident’s yard, asking for water and acting erratically, according to Marblehead police.
The man, Timothy J. Hubisz, 30, of 17 Rockway Road in Peabody had been missing from his home for over a day and was also wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant out of Peabody District Court, according to police.
Hubisz’s erratic behaviour continued during the booking process at the Marblehead police station. Police feared he was suffering a mental health or drug emergency and called paramedics, who took Hubisz to Salem Hospital along with the arresting officer as his guard.
While at the hospital, the officer told a doctor that he was experiencing numbness and swelling in one of his extremities, according to police. At the police station, two officers who were in direct contact with Hubisz began experiencing similar symptoms and were also taken to Salem Hospital.
As police and hospital personnel determined that they were dealing with a potential hazmat situation, the booking room and cell block at the rear of the station were shut down and arrangements were made with Swampscott police to handle any of Marblehead’s arrests.
Two paramedics, a security guard and at least one nurse began to experience similar symptoms at the hospital, leading officials to call in a hazmat response team to hospital and a hazmat tech to the police station.
Officials determined that Hubisz had come into contact with some type of chemical used in pesticides, but it is unclear where, when, how and why he was contaminated, according to Marblehead police.
The public safety personnel were released after spending several hours in a decontamination and isolation unit. A professional clean-up company cleaned the cell block and police cruiser.