After the recent incident in Miami, where an attacker chewed flesh off of the face of a homeless man before being shot dead by police, Canadian officials have announced plans to make the active ingredient in so-called “bath salts” illegal. And Miami authorities have warned officers to be “extremely cautious” around disorderly suspects who, like the slain “cannibal,” may have consumed the powdery stimulant.
Force Science News first warned of the dangers of bath salts more than a year ago in a previous FSN transmission, which carried a report on the subject by Chris Lawrence, an instructor in the certification course in Force Science Analysis. [Click here to read the original Force Science News article.]
The report stirred no response at the time. But in the wake of the Miami episode and a growing number of encounters elsewhere (including Canada’s maritime provinces) between police and offenders high on salts, the Canadian government announced this month that MDPV, a key ingredient of the drug, will be added to that nation’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the same category as heroin and cocaine. It is expected to become officially illegal in the fall. Click here to read a release.
In Florida, after the face-gnawing attack, police confronted another bath salts suspect who was reported shouting obscenities in a restaurant. The 21-year-old “growled and grunted like an animal,” tried to bite an officer’s hand, threatened to “eat two officers a week,” and had to be transported in a bite mask and leg restraints.
Bath salts, synthetic cannabis, and excited delirium syndrome all are currently mixed in discussions of bizarre suspect behavior, Lawrence notes. “More research needs to be done before we can determine, for the safety of officers and the public alike, the physiological and symptomatic differences, if any,” he says.
You can help by sharing your experiences with unusually combative and aggressive subjects who appear to be influenced by bath salts, similar chemicals, or ExDS. If you encounter or know of suspected incidents, please contact Lawrence by clicking here.