Drug War

How Many Men Does It Take to Overcome the 'Superhuman Strength' of a Perp or Patient Fortified by 'Bath Salts'?


We all know that "bath salts," regardless of which specific chemicals they contain, give people "superhuman strength"—the sort of strength required to tackle a 65-year-old homeless alcoholic and eat his face, for instance. But you may wonder: Exactly how many grown men does it require to subdue a single individual under the influence of "bath salts"?

Six, according to Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Aguilar is the cop who did not need toxicological tests to know that Rudy Eugene, a.k.a. the "Miami Zombie," was under the influence of "bath salts," a.k.a. "the new LSD" (or so says Aguilar), when he attacked Ronald Poppo. "I took care of a 150-pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds," Aguilar told WFOR, the CBS affiliate in Miami, on May 26. "It took six security officers to restrain the individual." Six is looking like a strong contender, since a May 28 WFOR story attributes exactly the same quote to Paul Adams, a local emergency room physician.

But that is not the end of the matter. The next day, Adams told ABC News "it usually takes four to five people" to control someone who appears in the emergency room after consuming "bath salts." That same day, however, The Daily Beast quoted Adams as saying "to place someone safely in restraints, it's taken seven security guards and one doctor." The story also quotes Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami FOP, who says "we just had a guy that took seven police officers and two supervisors to restrain." Averaging all these numbers (four, five, six, eight, and nine), we can determine that it takes 6.4 men to restrain the typical bath-salt-fortified perp or patient. 

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  1. Depends on what the controllers are hopped up on.

    I’d think two cops on crystal meth could easily restrain a bath salt indulger. Or only one if he has a +3 axe.

  2. we can determine that it takes 6.4 men unionized cops to restrain the typical bath-salt-fortified perp or patient.

    Big difference.

    1. Bath salts = featherbedding?

  3. How many cops does it take to beat up one Portuguese soccer fan? More than 4 apparently.

  4. I would assume only one cop would be required if Proper Professional(ism) Procedures were being followed; i.e. the safety was off and any pets in the area had already been neutralized.

    1. Proper Professionalism requires that they keep shouting “stop resisting! Stop resisting!” while they pile on the guys neck until he turns cyanotic and passes out.
      It’s all in yelling the proper commands. Haven’t you seen COPS?

  5. They can’t use tasers for compliance anymore?

    1. Bath salts change the electrophysiology of your body. I know this because cops, who have such a command of medical issues that they can determine what a perp is on without any toxicology, told me so.

      Juicing a bath salter with a taser is like throwing gasoline on a fire.

      1. I heard that three cops have to tase the suspect simultaneously, being careful not to let the streams cross.

        1. But they go back to the station and ‘swordfight’.

      2. Second sentence, FTW, RC!

  6. Meh. Back when my husband was still drinking (and before he was my husband, just to be clear) it routinely took 6 to 8 cops to subdue him and get him into cuffs– if they got him on the ground, he’d do push-ups with them on his back. He was pretty fucking skinny (six feet, maybe 140 pounds) at the time, and also too drunk to carry on a conversation, but no matter. People can get crazy stupid on booze and on a number of other substances, which can make them extremely difficult to subdue. Especially if pepper spray doesn’t bother them. It’s not some magical power conferred by specific chemicals, the stupid seems to reside in the individual.

    1. Yeah. When you just don’t give a fuck and aren’t feeling much pain, you can do a lot. I don’t doubt that some people who are out of their heads on some mystery stimulant are hard to subdue.

    2. lol… It took three nurses, a doctor and my pissed off mother to restrain me long enough to draw blood when I was 5 or 6 years old.

      Doctor told me it would not hurt. It did and I flinched. When the second attempt came I said no. I was then attacked, from my point of view. lol…

  7. We should start using this stuff in the military. Then we’d have an army of berserkers. Other nations would live in total fear of us – all with fewer troops at a fraction of the price.

    1. They already hand out meth.

  8. we just had a guy that took seven police officers and two supervisors to restrain

    You know they’re doing it by the book when they even bring along a couple of union guys to supervise.

  9. Why the fuck do people keep calling the stuff “bath salts”. I think people mostly know what chemicals are in the stuff.

    I wonder how many idiots, on hearing that you can get high on bath salts, try doing likes of Epsom salts or something. I bet that doesn’t feel to nice.

    1. My understanding is that they’re marketed as bath salts to provide plausible deniability to the merchants and distributors. As in, “hey, they’re labelled as bath salts, how was I to know that some crazy kid would sniff them?”

      Also, this is probably going to cause real economic harm to the (legitimate) bath salt industry. More collateral damage from the WoD.

    2. Gives new meaning to “Calgon take me away!”

    3. I still have coworkers telling me about the LSD zombiecase. People believe a lot without raising the spockian eyebrow.

  10. Wow, this is SO scary. Thank goodness that the city of Warren is protecting us by making these evil salts illegal:

    Sigh. Again.

  11. This reminds me of the fisherman who caught a pan-size brook trout that ultimately ended up weighing 30 pounds.

  12. Hah, when I was a 114lb highs school freshman, we had a school fair, with a jail that you could pay to put people in. I decided to resist, and it took 5 or 6 seniors, and a pretty burly teacher about 5 minutes to force me in the jail room.

    It’s not easy to subdue a person without the aid of a tool, or the freedom to club them with something heavy.

    1. And those seniors and the teacher were all trained in restraining people, right? No? Fail.

    2. Which begs the question of why it takes so many highly trained professionals, who do in fact use tools and clubs, to restrain a salter.

      1. Because of their drug-induced Hulkitude. RTFA, dude.

    3. That’s…not a normal thing for a school fair.

      1. I’ve seen it as a voluntary charity thing. I’ve never heard of anyone being physically forced to participate before.

  13. Armando Aguilar is proof that stupidity is the the most dangerous substance of all, and it’s rarely controlled.

  14. I wonder what would happen if you used them as bath salts… Would you become Galactus, Eater of Worlds?

    1. Superman once threw a chain around a planet and dragged it somewhere, I forget why, maybe it was blocking his view or something. I don’t know where he got the chain. Anyway, you would become that strong. But who takes baths in this day and age? Sitting in a pool of your own filth? Yuck.

  15. That’s funny, because my uncle was about 5-10, 170, and it took six cops to haul him in, long before bath salts were even a gleam in some chemist’s eye.

  16. I remember hearing the same shit about PCP thirty years ago.

  17. It’s all part of the demonization of the newest designer drug (where designer = not yet scheduled). Has anyone actually proved what, if anything, the dude was on? Or is it still just wild-ass guessing?

    Not that it matters. You should see how worked up cops get over every little new possible “officer safety” issue. Did you know you can fit a small handgun in a Big Gulp cup? zOMG OFFICER SAFETY ALERT!!!!

    1. A NAA .22 revolver will fit in the finger of a man’s glove. We need to ban gloves.

  18. Six is looking like a strong contender, since a March 28 WFOR story attributes exactly the same quote to Paul Adams, a local emergency room physician.

    That article is the epitome of sloppy journalism. Not only does it misattribute the quote, but it says the following:

    Emergency room doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said they too have seen a major increase in cases linked to the street drug called “bath salts” or what is sometimes referred to on the street as “the new LSD”.

    I read all those articles, and the only people calling it that are Adams and Aguilar. Do police and doctors count as “the street” now? I also find it amusing that they are acting like “bath salts” is a street name. They actually are bath salts that happen to have amphetamine-like effects. *sigh*

    1. They’re no more bath salts than they are plant food (the other code name). I think everyone should spend a few minutes on Erowid just to get up to speed.


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