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6 Phoenix police officers, 4 others exposed to unknown substance

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — Six Phoenix police officers and four others were taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons on Monday evening after being exposed to an unknown substance, according to authorities.

The officers responded to a 911 call from an apartment near 40th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix around 4 p.m. after three individuals reported they were taken hostage by a man they knew, Sgt. Ann Justus with the Phoenix Police Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The three people – two men and a woman – told police illegal drugs were being used and the man, later identified as Lorenzo Cannata, 42, became upset, arming himself with a machete-like weapon and refusing to let the group leave, Justus said.

They were able to escape after one person used pepper spray against Cannata, police said.

Six officers entered the residence and were exposed to a heavy fog that is believed to be a combination of pepper spray and an unknown substance that could have been related to the drugs being used, Justus said.

The officers, the three people who were held hostage and Cannata were all taken to the hospital.

None of the 10 people had symptoms but were transported just to be safe, with Justus saying the last update she received was that everybody was doing fine. 

“Just because of the fact that we don’t really know what that substance was, we wanted to have them looked at just to make sure they are ok,” Justus said.

A hazmat team cleared the apartment and residents were later allowed back in once it was determined there was no longer any hazardous material.

Cannata was booked on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Debra Dale contributed to this report.

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