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Entries in Bath Salts (7)

Tuesday
Dec042012

79-Year-Old Texas Man Knocks Out Home Intruder High on Bath Salts

KTRK/ABC News(LEAGUE CITY, Texas) -- A 79-year-old former bull rider in League City, Texas, proved that age was only a number when he knocked out a home intruder who was apparently high on bath salts.

League City Police Department Sgt. Tamara Spencer told ABC News that Ervin Brittnacher "was just about as cool as he could be" after an agitated man came to his front door with a gun and tried to break into his home at 5:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Spencer said Brittnacher told her, "I heard a ruckus at the door, walked to the door, and saw the young man holding a gun. I used to own a nightclub, and I knew it was never a good idea to talk to people holding guns."

Spencer said Brittnacher "throat punched [the suspect] and karate chopped the side of his neck."

"The guy went down cold," said Spencer.

Spencer said that when police responded to the scene, they found 38-year-old Charles Smith's car in a ditch half a mile away from Brittnacher's home.

"He wrecked his truck, grabbed his rifle, and tried to break into the house," Spencer said. "He was able to break off part of the screen door."

Spencer said Smith, who has a history of using bath salts, was incoherent when found. He was booked and charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault.

Smith's bond was set at $40,000, and is currently being held in Galveston County Jail.

Mike Brittnacher said his father used to ride bulls for a living, and wasn't surprised to hear he could still knock someone out. He said his father, who lives alone on a 25-acre property, still works on tractors and bails hay.

"He's a pretty tough man," he said. "He'd do anything for anybody. You wouldn't want to mess with him."

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

Face-Eating Victim Describes Attack

Rudy Eugene is pictured in this undated mugshot. (Obtained by ABC News) (MIAMI) -- The Miami man who had half his face chewed off by a deranged assailant told police that moments before the grisly assault began the man said to him, "You, me, buddy, and nobody else here. I'm going to kill you."

Rudy Eugene's assault on Ronald Poppo actually happened on a busy Miami street on May 26 and Eugene had to be shot several times by a police officer to stop the gruesome attack. Eugene was naked and responded to the initial shot by growling at the cop.

Two months after the horrific incident and after several surgeries, Poppo, 65, is now in a long term care facility in the Miami area where he is continuing to recover from his injuries. His doctors say he lost 50 percent of his face, making him almost unrecognizable. His left eye was destroyed. His right eye is still there, but doctors covered it with a flap taken from skin from his forehead and scalp.

In the taped interviews that were conducted on July 19, two Miami homicide detectives asked what assailant Rudy Eugene, who was shot and killed by police during the attack, said to Poppo.

"For a very short amount of time I thought he was a good guy," Poppo calmly told police in the audio recordings. "But he just went and turned berserk. ...He just ripped me to ribbons. He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes…Basically that's all there is to say about it."

In the seconds before Eugene began to mutilate him, Poppo recalled that Eugene's conversation turned ominous.

"You, me, buddy and nobody else here," Poppo recalled. "I'm going to kill you. Or something like that, I guess."

"Did he say why?" Detective Sgt. Altarr Williams asked.

"No, he just started to scream," Poppo said. "And was talking kind of funny talk for a while too… He must have been souped up on something."

Although Poppo sounded calm through the interview, he recounted very vivid and gruesome moments during the attack.

"He mashed my face into the sidewalk," he said. "My eyes, my eyes got plucked out. He was strangling me in wrestling holds at the same time he was plucking my eyes out."

According to CBS Miami in another interview Poppo told detectives that Rudy Eugene blamed him for stealing his Bible although he said he never saw him with a Bible.

Poppo told police he had never met Eugene before the attack and that he did nothing to provoke the attack.

"I just didn't know how to get away from the guy," Poppo said.

"I thank the Miami Police Department for saving my life…If they didn't get there in a nick of time I would've definitely be in worse shape. Possibly I'll be DOA [dead on arrival]."

Eugene was shot and killed by police after they say their repeated pleas to get him to stop attacking Poppo were met with growls. Surveillance video shows that for 18 agonizing minutes Poppo was disrobed from the waist down, kicked, punched and bitten before police shot Eugene four times.

Poppo, who once attended New York City's elite Stuyvesant High School and dreamed of becoming president, will need months of reconstructive surgery. A foundation set up in his name has raised thousands of dollars.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun272012

Miami Face-Eating Attack Not Caused by Bath Salts?

Miami-Dade Police Dept.(MIAMI) -- Bath salts was not the cause of the incident in Miami in which a naked man was discovered chewing the face of a homeless man.

The medical examiner found no psychotropic drugs in the body of the so-called Miami face-eater Rudy Eugene.  On Memorial Day weekend, police shot and killed Eugene after his cannibalistic attack on Ronald Poppo.

According to the toxicology report, the medical examiner found only traces of marijuana in Eugene's system.  There were no traces of bath salts, LSD or anything that would cause some sort of psychotic frenzy, as police initially had suspected.

Eugene, 31, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia after a prior misdemeanor arrest, but was never referred to the court's mental illness diversion program, according to the judge who handled the case.  

His attack on Poppo, 65, who remains hospitalized after losing 75 percent of his face, was much more likely because of mental illness than the presence of drugs in his system.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Cannibal Attack Possibly Prompted By 'Bath Salts'

Rudy Eugene is pictured in this undated mugshot. (Obtained by ABC News)(MIAMI) -- Miami police suspect that what caused a 31-year-old man to rip off his clothes and viciously gnaw on the face of another man in a daylight attack on a busy highway is a new and extremely dangerous street drug known as "bath salts."

A Miami police officer shot Rudy Eugene Saturday after repeated pleas for him to stop eating another man's face. His demands were met with only growls. Eugene continued, and it took four bullets to kill and finally stop him as witnesses watched in horror.

According to police, little remained of the victim's face, with 75 percent of it eaten away, rendering him almost unrecognizable. One source says all that remained was blood and the victim's goatee.

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO OF THE VICTIM PRIOR TO THE ATTACK ]

Police have not officially connected Eugene's behavior to "bath salts," but experts say he was exhibiting the classic signs of someone high on the drug.

Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of police, who has been in contact with the officer who killed Eugene, says the similarities between this and other recent cases involving "bath salts" are striking.

"The cases are similar minus a man eating another. People taking off their clothes. People suddenly have super-human strength," says Aguilar. "They become violent and they are burning up for the inside. Their organs are reaching a level that most would die. By the time police approach them they are a walking dead person."

According to WPLG, the victim was a 65-year-old, apparently homeless man who was living near the causeway where the attack occurred.  The victim, identified as Ronald Poppo, is listed in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, WPLG reports.

Eugene, who was believed to be homeless, left few clues behind as to what led to the attack. Court records show that although he was arrested several times, they were for minor offenses. His ex-wife described him as having violent tendencies, but is shocked by the attack.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun292011

Feds Arrest Ten in First-Ever 'Bath Salts' Bust

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ten people were arrested on Tuesday by federal agents and charged in the first-ever federal prosecution dealing with "bath salts," a dangerous new designer drug that has been linked to emergency room visits and deaths across the country.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said a Seattle-area supplier led the ring and shipped the bath salts to a handful of New York City head shops. The bust was the first for a recently developed New York-based DEA task force targeting bath salts, a group of substances sold in convenience stores and head shops that mimic the effects of cocaine or ecstasy.

"This is so new to us," said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne. "In the last year it's just taken off in the U.S. -- we've never seen anything like it."

"Bath salts are one of the latest designer drugs to reach our shores, and they have proven to be a public health and safety menace with dangerous, and sometimes deadly, consequences," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where nine of the arrests were made.

"Bath salts" were the subject of a June 3 ABC News 20/20 investigation that found that despite being linked to several deaths, bath salts have been sold in stores and online with little oversight.

"Bath salts" have spurred approximately 2,500 calls to poison control centers nationwide since 2010, and have been connected to four deaths so far this year, including a 23-year-old Florida man and a 51-year-old woman in West Virginia.

The 26-year-old who authorities say is the "bath salt" ring's supplier, Miguel Ashby, was arrested in Washington State and charged with distribution of controlled substances. If convicted he could serve 20 years in prison.

The other nine defendants were employed at New York City head shops, including Addiction NYC, Tattoo Heaven, Crazy Fantasy Tattoo and Smoking Culture, and were arrested on charges related to either distribution of controlled substances, receipt of misbranded drugs, or delivery of misbranded drugs.

Authorities were able to charge the alleged drug ring under the Federal Analog Act, which allows any chemical that is "substantially similar" to a controlled substance to be treated as a controlled substance. Spokesman Rusty Payne said the DEA had invoked the Analog Act "for other drugs," but the new case marks the first time it's ever been done with bath salts.

There is no federal ban on all bath salt products, but more than 35 states have banned at least some of the chemicals commonly found in the drugs. Louisiana put an emergency ban on the drugs immediately after Dickie Sanders' death. In late April, New Jersey banned the manufacture, sale or possession of bath salts, and in May New York followed suit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar182011

Man Arrested in Mass Drug Overdose Leaving 1 Teen Dead, 10 People Hospitalized

Medioimages/Photodisc/ThinkStock(BLAINE, Minn.) -- Police reportedly arrested this evening a suspect in connection with the mass overdose of a synthetic drug that left one man dead and 10 others hospitalized in Blaine, Minn.

The group took the drug during a spring-break party at the home of one of the hospitalized boys. The other victims fled the residence and were suffering the effects of the overdose at separate locations before authorities found them and took them to three different hospitals. Two hospitals had released all but one of the overdose victims by early Friday afternoon, the third hospital did not provide an update on its victims, said police.

The hallucinogenic drug is also known as "Europa" and, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, "Tootsie," a play of its chemical name, "Two"-"C"-"E." Officials say the drug was ordered on the Internet.

"Just because you have an assumption it's legal and can buy it online, in no way is it safe," Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's office told WCCO-TV.

The drug is illegal. It is an analog, or a close chemical cousin, of 2C-B, a controlled substance that is legally available only to registrants such as researchers, chemists or certain doctors; it is illegal for anyone else to have it.

Because the DEA identifies it as an analog of a controlled substance, 2C-E is also technically illegal.

Synthetic hallucinogens are becoming increasingly more available, coming from countries such as China and Thailand where there is little regulation and oversight on the production of chemicals, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Lawmakers and drug enforcement agencies are increasing their attention to the availability of synthetic drugs. In Minnesota, the state House last month approved a bill to ban synthetic marijuana. In February, New York Sen. Charles Schumer proposed a bill to add bath salts to a list of federally controlled substances. Phony bath salts made with methylenedioxypyrovalerone and mephedrone are designed with the express purpose of giving a cheap, legal high. They can cause hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, even some deaths.

´╗┐Copyright2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar182011

New Jersey Murder Triggers Bath Salts Crackdown

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(CRANFORD, N.J.) -- The arrest of a New Jersey student who has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend has intensified a statewide push to ban the sale of a designer drug marketed and sold as bath salts.

William Parisio, 22, is being held on $400,000 bail after the beaten body of his girlfriend, Pamela Schmidt, also 22, was found in his basement bedroom in Cranford, New Jersey.

Parisio, who had recently dropped out of Rutgers University, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder on his 19th birthday and had been in and out of drug rehabilitation programs.

His mother, Dianna Parisio, called the police after discovering Schmidt's body around noon on Sunday.  She told authorities that her son had recently been taking bath salts, sold over the counter and increasingly used as a cheap, legal high.

Two members of the New Jersey state Assembly had already been planning to introduce legislation modeled after a similar bill in New York aimed at halting sales of bath salts in the state.

"This is just such a senseless tragedy.  It's absolutely heartbreaking.  I wish we had had this in place so that this tragedy could have been prevented," Assemblywoman Linda Stender, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, told ABC News.  "This innocuous 'bath salt,' which has the active ingredient MDPV in it, is like playing a game of Russian roulette because you don't know what the effect is going to be on a person."

Stender's bill would make it a third-degree crime punishable by three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines to manufacture, distribute or possess products containing any trace of the chemical.

The phony bath salts are usually manufactured in Europe, China and India and sold in individual bags -- about $20 for a two-gram pouch -- on the Internet, in convenience stores and on the street.  They come branded with names like Ivory Wave, Ocean, Charge +, White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove, Cloud-9 and White Dove.  Symptoms can range from a racing heart to headaches to a paranoid psychotic impact.

The powders cause intense cravings for more even though they can trigger extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio