Police in Gwinnett County, Georgia say a man — who admitted to being high on bath salts — had super-human strength and threatened to eat them and customers at a golf driving range last month.
Officer Ross Hancock told WSB-TV that 21-year-old Karl Laventure was half naked, running through a pond and threatening customers at the range with a golf club when he arrived.
Hancock recalled that a blast of pepper spray didn’t seem to phase Laventure.
“He didn’t even wipe his eyes, he just kept them open,” the officer said.
It took four shocks with a Taser to get the the man to the ground. But before it was all over, Laventure received 14 Taser jolts.
Disturbing video released by authorities shows the suspect being pinned to the ground and mumbling incoherently.
“I’m’a eat you,” Laventure says in the video. “Four Four. Oh God. Don’t make me eat you.”
“He was still talking gibberish, still cussing, still saying he wanted to eat us, eat other people,” Hancock explained.
“He evoked the words Tupac and Biggie, amongst others,” Sgt. Rich Long added. “Just crazy random things.”
So-called “bath salts” have been suspected in a number of zombie-like attacks in recent months.
Mephedrone, the active ingredient in “bath salts,” is a synthetic stimulant that users say makes them feel energized and confident. It intensifies the pleasure associated with hearing music and is therefore popular in nightclubs, at concerts and at “raves.” At toxic levels, however, the drug reportedly causes intense confusion and sometimes violent rage, spikes in body temperature and hallucinations.
Wired magazine reported that regulators are engaged in an elaborate game of “Whac-a-mole” with the chemists producing the drugs. “Every time a compound is banned, overseas chemists synthesize a new version tweaked just enough to evade a law’s letter,” wrote Wired‘s Brandon Keim.
Producers of the mephedrone have sold it under the names “bath salts” and “plant food.” It exploded into widespread use in the U.K. in 2008, prompting lawmakers to ban it, first in the U.K. and Israel, then in all of the EU. Congress hurriedly made the chemical temporarily illegal in the U.S. in October 2011.
Watch this video from WSB-TV, broadcast July 2, 2012.