On June 9, Lexington, Ky. police officers contacted a suspect under the influence of the synthetic drug Serenity outside a convenience market. Picture a powerful, manmade version of marijuana. The video was posted on Facebook by Joey Bond and has drawn millions of views.
The officers were responding to a call of two people, one of whom was unconscious in front of the market. EMS personnel waited until police officers arrived to contact the suspect, a standard practice across the country given the unpredictable nature of people under the influence of drugs.
What happened next was unexpected. The suspect was ordered to stay on the ground but instead stood up and commenced to attack the officer.
He didn’t attack the officers with his fists, but rather tried to bite them while chomping his teeth. I’m sure the officers must have thought, at least for a moment, that they were seeing the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.
In this case, it was a good call. The responding officers used their Tasers repeatedly with some effect. The suspect went down but got right back up again. Ask anyone who has been Tasered and they will tell you the last thing you want to do is get back up. Just goes to show you how high the suspect was in this case.
Eventually, the suspect loses steam and is taken into custody.
Monday-morning quarterbacks have critiqued the officers’ response with all sorts of could’ves and should’ves, but let’s face it: It’s not every day you get attacked by a zombie-like guy.
Police across the country now can add another drug to the list of psychotropic concoctions that can cause severe psychotic reactions.
Already on the list are PCP, cocaine, meth, bath salts, LSD, psilocybin and sometimes even alcohol.
According to WHAS, in Lexington, Va., local EMS personnel have seen a rash of overdose cases related to Serenity.
Just be glad we have police officers willing to step into the fray and deal with these people. I can guess that most people would just run the other way.
Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.