Sanford police investigate whether off-duty Orlando officers were poisoned

One officer placed on ventilator

SANFORD, Fla. – The Sanford Police Department said it is investigating to see if three off-duty Orlando officers were poisoned while visiting the city’s downtown bars.

Sanford police said the officers went to bars in downtown Sanford last Wednesday and became ill.

One of the officers started feeling sick. The report said the officer was “visibly sweating and vomited.” The officer was treated by a paramedic with IV fluids, according to police.

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Another officer developed more severe symptoms later in the night and a report shows he was put on a ventilator at a local hospital. The third officer was also hospitalized.

Authorities said a doctor told investigators one of them may have been drugged with a narcotic commonly known as Rohypnol.

According to the report, one officer’s mixed drink “didn’t taste good/right” and they only took a couple sips. The other two officers split the drink, the report states.

It’s unclear if the officers were targeted. A spokesperson for Sanford Police said in an email, “All aspects of the incident are still under investigation.”

The report said an officer has history with a bartender at one of the businesses they visited “due to some words being exchanged over the bartender’s girlfriend hitting on” the officer a few weeks ago

News 6 contacted the businesses the officers visited. Many said they are cooperating with the investigation. One bar owner said nothing seemed out of the ordinary that night and he gave investigators surveillance video.

The Orlando Fraternal Order of Police identified the trio as off-duty police officers.

Sanford police said they are waiting for toxicology tests to confirm if the officers were poisoned. Police said it’s unknown when they will receive the results.

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