Efraín Rodriguez said he had never witnessed anything like what happened on Saturday near the Brooklyn cafe where he works.
As he was standing outside the Loma Coffee Shop on Broadway, near Myrtle Avenue, in the heart of a bustling transit hub, several people who were smoking started falling to the ground, Mr. Rodriguez, 47, a janitor, recalled on Sunday.
“They would take two puffs and bam, they’d drop right there,” he said. “People just started falling to the ground. Right here, there were three strewn on the sidewalk,” he added, pointing toward the pavement. “Over there, two more,” he said, gesturing down Broadway. “The medics were here working until 9 p.m.”
In all, the emergency workers treated 14 people believed to have been sickened by the synthetic drug known as K2, the police said. Some patients were found unconscious, struggling to breathe and vomiting. They were all given doses of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, and taken to hospitals, the police said. All of them are expected to survive.