Utica Police kept busy on July 4 with numerous "bath salts" incidents

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police were kept busy on Independence Day, with a trio of bizarre incidents - the latest in what appears to be an epidemic use of these drugs sold under the guise of "bath salts."

It began around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, when officers responded to Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in downtown Utica for a report of a man who had locked himself inside a bathroom and would not come out.

When police arrived, they said they tried to establish a dialogue with the the 30 year old man, whose name was not released, who they say sounded confused and disoriented. As the conversation progressed, police said the man admitted that he was was under the influence of the synthetic drug known as "bath salts" and was armed with what he said was a knife.

The man kept telling officers to stay back, and after roughly 20 minutes, police say they were able to talk the man out of the bathroom and was taken into custody. Police said a search of the man revealed that he was actually in possession of a sharpened screw driver, not a knife. He was taken by ambulance to St. Luke's Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

In a separate incident, Utica Police officers responded to a residence on Park Ave around 9:45 p.m. for a report of a man who said someone was breaking into his apartment. Police say the man told 911 that he was unsure if he was being burglarized or if there were squirrels in his house.

When they arrived on scene, the responding officer realized it was the same man who was involved in a "bath salts" incident the night prior, where he believed someone was chasing him. Officers checked his residence but found no one. At 11:30 p.m., the man called back again and said that someone was in his house. Officers again checked the residence and found no one. Police say the man claimed that he had used no "bath salts" in several days and was just suffering side effects.

At 11:15 p.m. that same evening, officers responded to Lincoln Ave for a man calling for help and located the man 50 feet into the wooded area between Lincoln Ave and Route 12. Police said the man was laying on the ground and said that he was paralyzed from the waist down. The man told police that he had recently taken "bath salts" and officers found him in possession of an empty bag of the substance.

The Utica Fire Department responded and after extricating the man from the woods, transported him to a local hospital.

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