New Britain man facing charges in overdose death of Bristol resident

Published on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:12


PLAINVILLE - A New Britain man faces charges after allegedly waiting more than five hours to get his friend help in March before the man died of a drug overdose.

Gabriel Salazar, 34, dropped the 51-year-old Bristol man off at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, in New Britain, at about 12:30 a.m. on March 14, according to the warrant for his arrest. He went inside the emergency room and returned outside with hospital staff, where they placed the patient onto a wheelchair and took him inside the hospital, the warrant continued.

The 51-year-old was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy revealed he died from acute fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl toxicities. 

According to police, Salazar told investigators that he had been with the victim earlier in the day, before he died, when the man ingested what looked like uncut cocaine. Salazar said he did not use any of the drugs and was not with the man when he acquired them. 

Police believe the drug the man ingested was acetyl fentanyl, as it is generally found in a rock form, similar to what Salazar described.

After the victim ingested the drug, Salazar told police, he began nodding off and acting lethargic while the two were visiting an acquaintance of Salazar. During the investigation, police used surveillance from Salazar’s place of employment, a business on Woodford Avenue, and saw that Salazar drove to the business at about 7:20 p.m. on March 13, the warrant said.

Salazar, police said in the warrant, could be seen dragging his friend into the business, which was closed. He told police he brought his friend there to sober him up. He also told investigators the man’s condition improved slightly when they were there, so he decided to bring him to his Bristol home, where they stayed in their vehicle. Shortly after arriving at the home, Salazar said, he fell asleep in the vehicle. 

When he awoke, Salazar said he noticed that his friend had dark blood coming from his nose and mouth, so he decided to drive him directly to the hospital in New Britain, as he did not know where Bristol Hospital was located, according to the warrant.

During the investigation, police found that Salazar had returned to his place of employment two additional times after his initial visit, contradicting what he told police, according to the warrant. During the second trip, Salazar was at the business for nearly 40 minutes, at which time he had told police he was sleeping in Bristol, police wrote. Police also said it took Salazar 38 minutes from the time he left the business the last time to arrive at the hospital, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes.

Salazar, the warrant said, “waited an extraordinary amount of time to seek professional medical care” for the victim. A pool of blood found in the victim’s pickup truck showed that he had been bleeding for “some time” before he was taken to the hospital, where police allege Salazar told medical staff that the victim had been drinking, neglecting to mention his illegal drug use. Police said Salazar also left the hospital shortly after dropping his friend off. 

Salazar, who is free without having to post bond, faces charges of interfering with police and second-degree false statement. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court on Monday. His case was continued to Feb. 6. 

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:12. Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:15.