PCPD: Meth Lab Explosion Injures Suspect

By: News Release
By: News Release

The Panama City Police Department is investigating an incident where a subject received injuries from his attempts to manufacture methamphetamine (meth).

The Panama City Police Department first received a 911 call from a pay phone on January 13, 2012, at approximately 8:30 pm. The caller gave a general area of 22nd and Michigan Avenue where an injured person was burned by a meth lab.

Officers and investigators who responded to the area located a
residence at 3707 W. 22nd Court where people were gathered outside. The persons at the residence first denied any knowledge of someone being injured.

Through the investigators persistence in the possibility of someone being injured, the persons eventually allowed officers and investigators inside the residence to look for the injured person. The injured person was located within that residence hiding in a bedroom. He was identified as Douglas J. Moates, 32 years of age.

Moates was transported to a local hospital with severe chemicals burns over most of his upper body including his face and was having difficulty breathing.

Investigators learned that Moates was attempting to manufacture meth in the bathroom of his residence located across the street at 3702 W. 22nd Plaza when the cooking vessel exploded. Moats exited the residence seeking help for his chemical burns from neighbors.

The neighbors called friends and attempted to aid Moates, however did not contact emergency medical personal or the police.

Moates was admitted into the hospital and will be transported to a burn center in Georgia for his injuries. Medical staff indicated that if Moates went much longer without proper medical care, he would
possibly not have survived his injuries.

Once the location of the possible meth lab was learned and Moates was transported to the hospital, specially trained investigators wearing protective equipment entered Moates’ residence to render the chemical lab, its contents and debris safe.

The Panama City Fire Department also assisted as safety and recovery in the dangerous process.

This case remains under investigation and it is believed someone else may have been present during the manufacturing process or helped clean up or remove some evidence of the meth lab.

Arrest and criminal charges are pending.


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