Cambridge Police Respond to Fatal Overdose Outside Blue Bottle Coffee

Officers from the Cambridge Police Department responded to reports of a fatal overdose on the front steps of Blue Bottle Coffee in Harvard Square at approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to CPD spokesperson Jeremy Warnick.

Warnick said a Blue Bottle employee called the police with concerns about an unresponsive man on the doorstep of the shop — located at 40 Bow St. — at roughly 6:45 a.m. Police later determined that the 26 year old man had died from an overdose, but Warnick said he could not provide further details.

The Cambridge Police Department tweeted at 7:39 a.m. that its units were in the area of Plympton Street near Holyoke Street “following a medical response to an overdose.” Warnick said the Cambridge Fire Department first responded to the call, but asked police to join them on the scene when they suspected an overdose.

“I don’t have extensive details... but I can confirm that it was not suspicious and it was an overdose,” Warnick said in an interview Wednesday morning.

Upon arriving at Blue Bottle, police cordoned off the area of Plympton Street between Mount Auburn Street and Bow Street in front of the shop.


Blue Bottle manager Ryan Stutzbach said Wednesday morning that the business would be temporarily closed until about noon, but declined to comment on the incident. He referred further questions to the company’s press relations team.

Blue Bottle spokesperson Tegan Kopilenko declined to comment on the incident and referred further questions to the police.

Police cleared the idea just after 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Warnick. Blue Bottle resumed its normal operations in the afternoon.

Cambridge City Councillors have addressed growing rates of fatal drug overdoses in Cambridge over the past several years and held opioid response training and substance abuse prevention programming during National Recovery Month in September.

In March, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale’s office released a report on the opioid epidemic in Cambridge. According to the report, 115 people died of an opioid-related overdose in Cambridge between 2013 and 2017. Among other measures, the report recommended that naloxone — a nasal spray used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose — be made available throughout the city in emergency “smash boxes.”

—Staff Writer Juliet E. Isselbacher can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @julietissel.