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Bad Trip, and Fall


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#1 Lefty

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:32 AM

http://www.westernfr...5/437a3150b9906

Police subdue student with Tasers
Freshman ingested hallucinogens, which spurred outburst Thursday
By Amy Harder

November 15, 2005

A force of four police officers and three medics restrained Western freshman Alex Rich with Tasers early Thursday morning.

Rich said his episode was the result of ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, an illegal hallucinogenic drug.

The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. After ingesting the mushrooms, Rich fell from the third story of Higginson Hall onto a bike rack in the residence hall’s inner courtyard, said Western junior Barbara Martin, who witnessed the event.

“I was just experimenting with something that I shouldn’t have been,” Rich said. “It was basically a nightmare that I never want to experience again. I am lucky to be alive right now.”

Officers did not arrest Rich for the altercation, Jim Shaw, University Police Chief and Western’s director of public safety said.

Rich said this was his first time ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, and it will also be his last.

The University Police responded to a medical-aid call at Higginson Hall at 1:41 a.m., Shaw said. One UP officer and three medics arrived at Higginson Hall to find Rich lying next to the bike rack, according to the police report.

UP Officer Chris Davis did not know when he arrived that Rich was under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug, just that a student had fallen from the building, Shaw said. Rich became combative when one of the medics tried to hold his head and assess his injuries, he said.

“The minute he touched him things went from bad to worse,” Shaw said.

Rich said he was screaming and hallucinating about imaginary figures and people chasing him. He said he does not remember most of the incident but vaguely recalls certain parts of the hallucinations.

The UP officers at the scene called for Bellingham Police Department assistance after Rich bit Davis so severely he needed immediate medical attention, Shaw said. UP Cpl. Joe Bailey arrived at the scene shortly before two Bellingham police officers, Shaw said.

“He was kicking and flailing at the EMT,” Shaw said. “He continued to resist, despite warnings that he’d be Tasered. They didn’t just immediately apply the Tasers. They tried everything they could to dissuade him, but (Rich) wasn’t in any position to cognitively understand.”

Bailey Tasered Rich 10 times in an attempt to restrain him, Shaw said.

“He would just scream and not respond any other way to the Tasers,” Martin said. “The whole area smelled like burning flesh. It was disgusting. I knew several people who were very close to throwing up.”

The Tasers temporarily immobilized Rich, Shaw said. Rich would start violently resisting officers’ attempts to restrain him, however, when Bailey stopped Tasering him.

Tasers are less violent than pepper spray or batons and do not have a lasting effect on the individual, Shaw said, regarding police’s reasoning behind using the device.

“He wasn’t responding to anyone holding him down,” Shaw said. “You don’t use a Taser just because it’s there — you use it to overcome the resistance of an individual.”

Martin said that by this time 50 to 75 Higginson residents heard the noise from the incident, came out of their rooms and witnessed the rest of the 30-minute event.

After tying Rich with zip ties and putting a mesh bag, also known as a spit shield, over his head, authorities forced him into an ambulance, Shaw said. He said the officers applied the spit shield to prevent Rich from spitting blood into the officers’ faces.

“I realize now that for my own safety I had to be detained,” Rich said.

The medics took Rich to St. Joseph Hospital, where he stayed most of Thursday, Shaw said. Nicci Noteboom, public relations specialist for the hospital, said doctors treated and released Rich. Federal patient-privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing any further information regarding Rich.

“All I have right now is bruises, soreness, cuts and swelling,” Rich said. “My face is pretty banged up, and both my hands swelled up because I was trying to get out of the cuffs. There are also a bunch of marks on my back (from the Tasers).”

Rich said he is recovering better now that he is out of the hospital.

“It was painful to do any movement,” Rich said. “I really couldn’t move after my night in the hospital. It has been a process of healing to be able to walk without pain. I still have pain when walking now in my feet and back.”

Rich attended a meeting Monday with Western’s Dean of Students Ted Pratt to discuss the repercussions of his actions, Rich said. Rich is suspended from Western for the rest of fall quarter and all of winter quarter, Pratt said. He violated the Student Rights and Responsibilities Code, which the Western Bulletin sets forth for Western students, Pratt said. The university distributes the bulletin before fall quarter begins each year.

“It’s not about beating anybody up,” Pratt said, referring to Rich’s suspension. “We look at each situation as a development opportunity for the student first and foremost.”

The UP and the Residence Life office are considering providing an informational meeting this week for witnesses who want to better understand the procedure the police used, Shaw said.

“It was a rather astonishing show of violence needing to subdue a very violent person,” Martin said. “It’s just upsetting when you witness that.”

The meeting would allow students to ask questions about the event and the use of Tasers, Shaw said.

“If there are concerns, we certainly want to address them,” Shaw said. “To somebody, four to five police officers are excessive, but actually it minimizes the opportunity for somebody to be injured.”

The UP acquired the Tasers a year ago and have only used them one other time, Shaw said.

The other case was three months ago when a non-student was fleeing a burglary in the Fairhaven Complex, Shaw said.

After his experience, Rich said he will not experiment with hallucinogenic drugs again, and he hopes other students realize the dangers of hallucinogenic drugs.

“Be really careful what you want to experiment with in college,” Rich said. “You never know how drastic and unexpected the effects will be. If you are experimenting with drugs you should really, really take a second look at it.”

Imteresting feedback if you follow the link, atleast some people are informed.

#2 shedthemonkey

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 07:45 AM

Is this for real? It has the feeling of Reefer Madness vibe to it. There is the other story of the idiot who jumped off the 4th floor of a building while on mushrooms too...The authorities always point to these types of stories when they want to start cracking down harder on something. I've got a bad feeling about this.

Set and Setting, people. Dishonor the sacriment and you might pay the price.

#3 Guest_JT_*

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:21 AM

I've seen some people do some pretty stupid shit on hallucinogens.
depends on the person, and set and setting, like shed said.
right said shed.

#4 viraljimmy

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:21 AM

Moral of the story:
Stay away from windows.
And cops.

#5 Dank Side Of The Shroom

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:36 AM

Did he jump or fall?

#6 Fester Addams

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:42 AM

real moral of the story:
never give a big dose to a moron
esp. if you're going to leave said moron alone when he eats em

#7 nerve

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:46 AM

The really sad part is that he's convinced getting tasered *10* times and beaten was for his own good.

#8 Dank Side Of The Shroom

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:01 AM

real moral of the story:
never give a big dose to a moron
esp. if you're going to leave said moron alone when he eats em



This is a damn good piece of advice

#9 pskovinsky

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:25 AM

I find it interesting that tasers have little to no effect on tripping people, according to that story.

Donno if you've watched cops, but generaly tasers A) level their asses, and B) leave 'em twitching for a while afterwards. It sounds like A happened, but not B.

Gogo mushroom berserker!

#10 Guest_dial8_*

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 12:00 PM

He sounds like a really green guy who has never experienced anything. His source should have never left him alone. You can usually tell the ones who are capable of handling such events and the ones who are not.

#11 Beast

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 01:04 PM

Is this for real? It has the feeling of Reefer Madness vibe to it.


Right Said Shed indeed. Check out the link to the original location of the story, and at the bottom of the page are three feedback comments, one from a WWU student, one from a mycologist, and one from an idiot.

I especially like what the 2nd person has to say about questioning whether the subject/victim had actually consumed the illegal type of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

#12 whitedeath

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 03:57 PM

Damn...What kind of asshole would use a taser on someone who's tripping that hard anyway? I mean, it's great that it had such little effect on the guy, but he could have been seriously traumatized.

#13 Guest_dial8_*

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 04:10 PM

Yeah, I have never nor has anyone I have known experienced such an event on shrooms. People need to realize when they eat mushrooms that they have actually injested something that is making them the way that they are and in a few hours everthing will be back to normal. I also question the kind of mushrooms they were.

I tell you. One bad apple...




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