High on ‘bath salts’, parolee assaults several cops

See why the managers of the motel couldn’t wait for this guest to ‘check out’ as soon as possible …

Police have their hands full with a man at the Best Value Inn, after he goes on a rampage.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The radio call, just after noon on August 23, requested backup for Portland Police Officers at the Best Value Inn, at 3310 SE 82nd Avenue.

An “unwanted subject”, suspected of being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, was clearly out of control when cops arrived at 12:30 p.m.

“The subject was non-complaint with officers’ commands to drop the bar he was holding. Instead, tried to shut the door of the motel room and jump out a second story window,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Officers began to struggle with the subject; during the struggle he was Tased.”

Police say they suspected that this man, 31-year-old Randy Craig Sturdevant, was under the influence of the dangerous mind-altering narcotic referred to “bath salts”. MCDC booking photo

The man, later identified as 31-year-old Randy Craig Sturdevant, not only was out of control, but also had an outstanding parole violation detainer, Simpson added.

“Sturdeveant fought through multiple Taser cycles and continued to fight with officers until he was taken into custody. Ultimately it took five officers to get Sturdevant handcuffed,” Simpson said. “Several officers received minor injuries during the struggle to get Sturdevant into custody.”

After being arrested at 1:10 p.m., Sturdevant was transported to a Portland hospital for treatment to what appeared to be a drug-induced psychosis.

After his release from the hospital, Sturdevant was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 7:43 p.m. the same evening. In addition to his parole violation detainer, he picked up additional charges of Escape in the Third Degree and Resisting Arrest – both Class A Misdemeanors. He remains in custody at MCDC in lieu of $27,000 bail, official record show.

This product – an illegal, synthetic designer drug – has nothing to do with taking a relaxing bath, officials say. US Drug Enforcement Agency image

Officers later learned that Sturdevant was under the influence of “bath salts”.

“Clearly, ‘bath salts’ is not a hygiene product,” Simpson told East Portland News. “It’s a dangerous, mind-altering narcotic. When we’re responding to this kind of report, we call for a large response of officers for their own safety, and for the safety of the subject.”

It’s almost impossible for first responders to communicate with a person high on this narcotic, Simpson added. “When a person takes these synthetic ‘designer drugs’ – banned in Oregon – it’s like they’re taking ‘meth on steroids’. The feel no pain, and seem to have no rational thoughts. They are very challenging to deal with.”

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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