A synthetic drug that’s been blamed for a string of zombie-like attacks is being blamed again as the foreign substance that drove a man to bludgeon an elderly woman with a shovel. According to the L.A. Times, Robert William White, 20, of Glendale, Calif., was high on the drug on June 21 when he attacked his neighbor with the gardening tool. Witnesses told police that the elderly woman asked White to stop swinging his shovel at birds before he allegedly used it to strike her on the head. A nearby neighbor told police she heard White say to his victim, “I hate you and I want to kill you today.”
Police report that White barricaded himself inside his apartment until police opened his door with a spare key and subdued him. The man’s bizarre behavior prompted paramedics to strap him down to a wheelchair before leading him out. Witnesses report that the man who later admitted to drinking a bath salt laced soda was yelling “God loves you all!” while being escorted away. His victim, whose age has yet to be verified, was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
So what exactly are bath salts? A previously reported, the salts are a man-made, synthetic drug made from amphetamine-like chemicals that cause a unique combination of effects in the brain. In recent weeks men like Rudy Eugene have piqued the public’s interest in the drug after he was reportedly so high on salts that he began to chew off the face of an innocent victim. He was later killed by authorities. Following Eugene’s attack, another man on the drug reportedly chomped at authorities and a Louisiana man took a bite out of a man’s face. Most recently, a Florida man took out a chunk of another man’s arm. The synthetics are often marketed as “insect repellent” or “plant food” and can cause delusions, suicidal thoughts and reported super strength.
Lawmakers are said to be taking notice of the drug’s deadly effects, however. ABC News reports that just last week House and Senate leaders agreed to ban two variants of bath salts. A bill that was recently passed in the House of Representatives sought to add all 17 bath salt chemicals to the government’s list of controlled substances. There’s no word on why only two of the substances were banned. –danielle canada