At Least 10 People Say They’ve Been Drugged at Seattle Bars This Summer

Comments

1
Good reporting, Sydney.
2
Hmm wonder how long before Arty Zifferelli shows up to yell about how this is all made up and you shouldn't drink shots if you don't want to be raaaaaped bold italics bold bold.
3
@2
You just raised the possibility.
4
Not a lot of evidence and journalism based on heresy. The fact that there was ZERO evidence of a police call is suspect. Although I know drugging is possible, without a toxicology report, could some of these people be in denial of their personal responsibility?
5
@4 I'm guessing you've never been drugged.
6
@5 Wrong again.
7
@4 It might be heresy, but more relevant to your opinion, it's not hearsay.
8
This is way more common than people think, and has been going on for years. Buy your alcohol by the bottle and drink it in the safety of your home. Even if you're not particularly young or pretty, watch your drink every second in a busy bar where strangers are present. If something tastes bitter or wrong, discard it and go home. It pays to be paranoid.
9
But what's the fun of having sex with someone who is passed out?..... (never mind)...
10
This is an extremely common thing to happen to males traveling in Latin America, E Europe, and Asia. I have an acquaintance who woke up with a headache in Slovakia and nothing else. The other stories on Trip Advisor are funny yet horrifying. BTW I'm not insinuating that losing your wallet and iPhone is the same as being sexually assaulted by a predator. I think men who do that should be castrated. In jail. During a life sentence.
11
How limited the test strips are had not occurred to me, I have to admit.

Would people be willing to have high-res infrared-illuminated security cameras in bars? If that's even feasible, I don't know.
12
Where the fuck were their friends to let them leave alone or with a stranger in that condition?
Honestly. If your pal is all of a sudden so fucked up that they arent just drunk, but damn near goo, you get them to safety. Uber to a fucking hospital.
Even just drunk, dont let them walk out alone. There are creeps of both genders who take advantage of that.
Jesus Christ.
13
Sydney is my new favorite writer at the Stranger. I've been in Seattle for my whole life and this is new to me. But maybe that is because my pro level bar days were in the 1990s and there were so few places and that we knew everyone- so it was safer? Or is it that this is like rape, in that my friends were too embarrassed to talk about it?
Id be interested in other people's opinions. Either way, thank you for your reporting. And how sad.
14
This is really good information to get out there. One question though - the lead caption mentions that police recommend you should "get the test" if you think you've been drugged. But unless i missed it, there's no information in the article about how one should do that, whether it's likely to effective in IDing the specific drug (one might guess not, given the discussion about the wide variety of drugs used), the time window in which the test should be sought, etc.
15
@3 Um did you see the other thread on this story? It was hardly a stretch.
But maybe he realizes what an ass he looks like now that Sydney has done more reporting. Or not. Haha.
17
In some of these instances it would not be surprising if the bartender has something to do with it. Is anyone questioning the bartenders at these venues? is there any overlap?

The thing with people who drink regularly and/or have casual sex is that... we know what it feels like. We're ok with casual sex - it happens. We're ok with drinking. We know what it feels like to have one, two, three, four, etc. drinks.

I'd think people would take it MORE seriously if someone who is familiar with drinking, and who is generally DTF, is upset by an incident. If you're generally ok with consensual boning, and you are normally fine or not more than a bit tipsy after a drink or two, an incident in which you are blacked out, or lose bowel control, or are raped, is going to stand out as NOT your normal weekend.
18
If you think you've been drugged then raped why isn't everyone reporting it to the police immediately? Seriously, you have agency and a responsibility to your own safety to report this shit immediately.
19
"Only two of the 10 people The Stranger talked to filed police reports. The rest said they had doubts about whether the police would believe them in the absence of physical evidence, or whether the police would do anything about the drugging even if they had."

Congratulations Stranger Staff! Your carefull cultivation and grooming of mistrust in the Seattle Police department is paying off for people who like to drug people in bars. Their victims have bought your story and are your victims too now.
21
@18 It's common for survivors of sexual assault, or attempted sexual assault, to be mistreated by the criminal justice system. On top of what they've already experienced.
22
It is simply another sign of self-centered societal change rearing its ugly head. People cant communicate unless they have the "all-knowing" glowing screen in front of their face, as everyone rambles on, knowing everything about every event that everyone has ever experienced based upon their own social media educated experience. Prime real estate for sick people out there, whether or not they are slipping drugs in peoples drinks or not. And yet people leave their drinks unattended in packed bars or merely go blithely along, victims of their own circumstances, even among "friends". I guess the addage is true, "If you cant trust the people you're with, then who can you trust"?
23
Last summer, a 65 year old guest at my wedding was drugged at bar sue. Him & a couple of bridesmaids of mine stopped there before the wedding (the venue is 40 feet from said bar) to grab a drink. He ended up collapsing, had to be resuscitated and was taken to harborview. He tested positive for rohypnol and amphetamines. Sad that there is such sick minded people out there doing this so often.
26
@20, @24, @25: Non sequitur. Your thoughts are uncoordinated.
27
Don't you realize what Internet comment threads have become? They are what telephone poles used to be (and occasionally still are): a place for such motley postings as those sketchy "Work From Home" ads; screeds from the conspiracy-obsessed and the just plain crazy; avante garde poetry and Dadaist zen koan bombings; and even sometimes legit civic announcements. But wait, there's more!

Article comment threads are also aimless group therapy sessions (look at your own -- I assume -- half-joking, half-well meaning call-out to those other 3 commenters), with even the journalists joining in (sometimes shocking but germane, as in Sydney's contribution bove; sometimes cheeky and profanity-laden, if it's Dan Savage; etc). But maybe there are imposters? (As in the excellent old Baumbach/Stoltz movie "Mr. Jealousy")...

So then we have the level where Internet comment threads are a crucible of dubiousness at best and both unfounded accusations and legitimate skullduggery at worst. Remember "Hey, I bet this poster is actually Matt Hickey!!" or "Ignore this shill for Hillary/Trump/Stein"? (The joy of *J'accuse!!*) It can get to be like that Croenenberg movie "Existenz."

We're not done! Sometimes, without realizing it, suddenly we've slid into participating in an editorial meeting! ("Thanks for pointing that out, Arty-Raindrop-Beaver-Dunno. I've made the change and updated the article.") All these angles are tightropes that intersect to create a game of Cat's Cradle that we all play Twister in, but this one is key because it also involves the thumbs and fingers that make the whole thing possible in the first place. Read sim more of my thoughts on that here:

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/…

But, really -- to turn to the positive -- the biggest circle on this crowded Venn Diagram is Human Connection. Are more people turning to article comment threads for that than they used to? Are they finding social networks to be meretricious sources of connectivity, with their one-sided, tarted-up "wall"s and "feed"s that are continuous deluges as opposed to these articles that have a finite shelf life? (I wouldn't know, since I'm not on any). No system arrives in a cut-and-dried form and -- however imperfect and confusing -- as individuals and groups we do our best to get the most out of it, nonetheless, sometimes blindly mapping out its edges as I am here.

It makes me think of that Robin Thicke career-killer "Blurred Lines." Leaving aside the pall of multiple rightful controversies, that song gets one thing right: a name for our times.
28
Even in my youthful bar burning days I knew to *guard my beverage*. Do not leave a beverage untended where you are sitting to traipse off and dance / go to potty / flirt and then return to that drink. Either finish it or toss it before you leave your seat. If someone you just met offers you a drink, watch the bartender make that drink / serve that drink or don't accept it [BUT IT'S FREE!!????] Simple preventive steps when in a public bar to prevent from getting slipped a Mickey. And BTW, this is hardly a new phenomenon; the expression "slip a Mickey Finn" dates to the turn of the 20th century.
29
@27) Please don't share your 'dear diary' entries anymore. Nobody cares, not even yer mom.
30
@29, crap I forgot -- thanks for reminding me!

There's that level too: People getting their jollies off being unkind to strangers.
31
@30: tl;dr.

that's not unkind; it's constructive criticism.
32
Thanks, Max.
34
Those Adios Mo-Fo's certainly will kick your ass & leave you, most likely, with IBS & a prolonged physical paralysis. Sign of a good bartender.
35
This is an excellent story, Sydney, and thanks for reporting on it. I feel horrible for the people affected by this, and for the folks who got casually accused and pegged as rapists / assholes along the way for the victims who chose to take action by falsely accusing people on social media rather than going to the police. A story like this is horrifying to our community and it is refreshing to see someone actually taking the time to figure out the story rather than watching angry mobs anonymously and uselessly forming on Facebook. Everyone take care of each other out there - it's a small city.
36
#27 Your crude and rude comments are not appreciated here.
37
I get it, Norm, you're saying, "I need a friend." (See: Human Connection category above).

Well, tell you what, for what it's worth, I'll be your internet friend.
38
Of course many people are reluctant to involve the police. If you're among the fortunate who can rely on established power and authority to be on your side, lucky you. The police to bust criminals; the needs of sexual assault survivors aren't their concern.

For that, call your local sexual assault response agency (see wcsap.org). Many will send an advocate to the hospital in sexual assault cases. If so, their concern should be strictly with the needs of the survivor, before the needs of the hospital, the doctors and nurses, or the police.

Hospitals can do a 'rape kit' without calling the police. Survivors can choose to do part or all of the exam and can decide to press charges (or not) later. Even if that exam doesn't result in a prosecution, it can be helpful for accumulating evidence against serial perpetrators.

Hospitals and police will often say that evidence of "date rape" drugs disappears within a few hours, though that depends on the drug. Drugs can be detected in hair samples (rather than the more typical urine samples) for days or even several weeks after the event (Adam Negrusz, Detection of "Date-Rape" Drugs in Hair and Urine, Report 201894, National Institute of Justice 2003), if police are informed and able.

If you're undecided about what to do, call your local sexual assault response agency. Well trained, experienced advocates will help you sort out what meets your needs, without pressure. Calling just to talk is totally ok, and many phone lines are 24/7.

There's no amount your can drink, nowhere you can go, and nothing you can wear that causes you to forfeit control of your own body. Sensible precautions are wise, but after-the-fact victim blaming "well what did you expect?" comments are inexcusable. The only person responsible for an assault is the perpetrator.