Deputies Hospitalized After Exposure to Unknown Substance During Traffic Stop

Two Richland County deputies, Corporal Deon Hardy and Reserve Deputy Joshua Ross, were hospitalized on Saturday night after being exposed to an unknown substance during a traffic stop.

According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Cpl. Hardy was left unconscious by the exposure, but Reserve Deputy Ross quickly administered first aid and NARCAN, which is commonly used to treat opioid overdoses, and revived him. Ross himself later received NARCAN as well.

The sheriff’s office described the incident as “narcotic exposure” and is still investigating what specifically the deputies were exposed to. It is unclear at this time what charges will be filed, and authorities did not provide any information about the reason for the traffic stop or how the deputies came into contact with the substance.

In a statement, the sheriff emphasized that incidents like this are a reality of the dangers faced by deputies every day, and that without Ross’s quick thinking and access to NARCAN, Cpl. Hardy could have suffered from serious health risks.