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Officers to rescue when man overdoses on heroin, Xanax in courtroom

Lake County Corrections Officers Karrie Lee (left), and Melissa Dunn; and Corrections Sergeant Timothy Specht | Lake County Sheriff's Dept.

A 24-year-old man could not have picked a better place to overdose than in a courthouse filled with first responders.

And the three Lake County correctional officers who helped save his life are now being lauded by the sheriff.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the man suffered an opioid overdose inside a courtroom at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, according to the sheriff’s office.

The man, who was not in custody or facing trial, slumped over in the public viewing area of courtroom C-120.

Fortunately, correctional officers who transport inmates from the Lake County Jail to court were not far away.

“They discovered the man was unconscious and barely breathing. They quickly determined he was likely suffering an opioid overdose,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said.

The three officers administered two doses of Naloxone, and the man “began to regain normal breathing and eventually regain consciousness,” the sheriff’s office said.

He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, and later “admitted to consuming Xanax and heroin, prior to the overdose,” authorities said.

“I am very proud of Corrections Sergeant 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,” Sheriff Mark Curran said in the statement.

“Someone overdosing in a courtroom highlights the opioid epidemic we face. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with community stakeholders, battling the prevalent opioid problem through education and enforcement.”