Authorities are worried a tainted batch of illegal drugs has found its way to Spokane.
The clue: Several reports of disoriented individuals stripping naked and defecating in public without any recollection of what they’d just done.
“The dope is either meth or PCP,” said Spokane police Officer Tim Moses, who teaches courses in narcotics at the local police academy. “With the memory loss, I think it sounds more like PCP.” Both drugs can raise a person’s core temperature so much they strip off their clothes to cool down.
In the past two weeks, officials say they’ve dealt with four incidents, including one Wednesday morning, of people on drugs who stripped naked in public. Two of those involved defecation.
Early Monday, a man reportedly was seen prowling around a backyard in the 2400 block of East Heroy, Moses said. A resident called and reported the naked man was knocking on her door. The 22-year-old fled as police arrived in the area after stealing a lounge chair cushion to cover himself.
The man apparently stripped his clothes, defecated in the yard, and left, leaving behind his wallet with ID, Moses said. Police found the man at his grandfather’s home in the 2200 block of East Longfellow.
“It was obvious to officers on scene that the male had consumed some sort of illicit drug and was not quite aware of his actions,” Moses said. “He could have faced several charges (misdemeanors), but instead was left in the custody of family to get him medical attention.”
Two people who displayed similar behavior were taken to the Sacred Heart Medical Center emergency room, hospital employees told police. A hospital spokeswoman said as many as five people a week show up in the emergency room experiencing intense symptoms of illegal drugs.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.