Rise of the synthetic-high zombies: Cops across Florida called to 'horror-movie style scenes'
Authorities in several Florida cities have seen an increase in emergency calls related to people being slumped over in a stupefied state, as they have overdosed on the dangerous drug known as spice, or synthetic marijuana.
Police in Tampa say that more people than ever before are overdosing on the drug, as investigators in Clearwater say they've received dozens of calls for people who have had to be rushed to the hospital because of suspected spice use.
WTVT reported that Tampa medical and law enforcement professionals warned last week about the dangerous uptick in overdoses that is possibly linked to a bad batch of spice that's being sold.
According to officials, there were three overdoses on Wednesday, as the calls for the usage of Spice are centered around Crest Lake Park where homeless people spend a lot of time reportedly.
A disturbing photo from the Clearwater Police Department taken at Crest Lake Park shows two people slumped over and one person lying on the ground, as it's suspected they had used Spice.
In addition, a video taken at the same park on Wednesday by Major Eric Gandy of the Clearwater Police Department shows him trying several times to speak to unresponsive individuals about how long ago they had taken spice.
'What's your name?' Gandy can be heard asking several times on the video.
Eventually, one of the men responds by saying, 'my name?'
'The spike that we're seeing and my personnel are dealing with on the road are unprecedented,' Gandy told WFLA. 'Looked like one of our zombie movies.'
He added that he 'had 15 people walking around in various states of incapacitation'.
Resident Jerome Freeland, 29, told Mail Online that he walks by Crest Lake Park daily when he takes his dog for a walk or heads to the welding and fabricating business he owns.
'It's mainly the homeless people that are using this drug,' Freeland claims, as he believes they are using something stronger than spice called 'That Disney' or 'FloKKA'.
'They go buy this drug with money that people give them and then go sit around our parks and other places.
'They are zombified homeless people on drugs and I've seen people fall out around my place from the usage of it.'
Freeland added that business owners around him constantly go out to provide water to people who appear to be on spice, 'so they won't get too sick and die.'
He explained that he's witnessed people who have used the drug in the area become 'violent' and attack others.
Freeland's account of violent behavior exhibited by spice users coincides with what investigators say is happening.
According to WTVT, officers have encountered violent individuals, as well as those having convulsions and several who are just completely unresponsive.
'We have noticed a serious uptick of Spice incidents lately that have turned into medical calls and it's become a serious drain on resources for the police department for the fire department and then in turn for doctors say at Morton Plant Hospital where the patients end up,' police spokesman Rob Shaw told WTVT.
'You wonder when somebody's going to have a heart attack and die from some of these substances.'
The St. Petersburg Police Department said dispatchers answered several calls for individuals needing medical assistance as it's suspected they may have had extreme reactions to spice in the last few days.
Officers in that area suspect that people near the St. Vincent DePaul Shelter were using it, but are conducting lab tests to confirm.
Police say the people who are making the synthetic drug are changing the ingredients, which means that users have no idea what they are smoking.
Authorities say they are trying to find a solution to the increase of spice-related cases, as they are teaming up to work on a solution to fix the problem.
( Source )