A person was found dead on Monday in a Yale-owned parking lot at 199 Park St., less than a block from Pierson College and the Afro-American Cultural Center.
The person was not affiliated with the University, and no foul play is suspected in the incident, said Karen Peart, a Yale spokeswoman. The New Haven Police Department arrived on scene at around 8:00 a.m. Monday, she said. The Yale University Police Department is leading an investigation into the incident.
Peart said the YPD has not yet released the cause of death, but reports from the New Haven Register and the Connecticut Post said a man’s body was found with a needle in his arm and drug paraphernalia in the car.
Nick Singh, who works at Chapel Market, located less than a block from the parking lot where the body was found, said he saw Yale and New Haven police officers inspecting the car early Monday morning.
Singh said he could not remember another incident of this sort happening so close to his store in his 22 years working there.
Brigitte Fink ’20, a rising sophomore in Pierson, said that despite the incident’s proximity to Pierson, the incident didn’t make her feel any more anxious about moving into the residential college in the fall. Instead, she said the death underscores Yale students’ responsibility to be active participants in the New Haven community and address issues surrounding drug addiction.
In recent years, overdose cases have spiked in many of Connecticut’s cities and towns, including New Haven. In 2016, there were 917 fatal overdoses in Connecticut. This was a startling jump from 2015, when 729 fatal overdoses were reported in the state.
New Haven saw 44 fatal overdoses in 2016, including a rash of 3 deaths and 17 poisonings in late June when a batch of fentanyl, a drug 100 times more potent than heroin, entered the city advertised as cocaine.
Correction, July 13: A previous version of this article cited an inaccurate report by WTNH. NHPD Media Liaison Officer David Hartman did not issue a statement saying the deceased had been found with drug paraphernalia.