BANGOR, Maine — A 23-year-old woman who admitted using the synthetic drug “bath salts” Thursday afternoon told a taxicab driver that people were after her and trying to kill her. She then bolted from the taxi without paying her fare, police said.
When police found Bangor resident Brandi Warman, “she was rambling in her speech talking about people trying to kill her,” Bangor police Sgt. Ed Potter said Friday. “She was barefoot and stumbling” and “not focused.”
Warman jumped out of the River City Taxi cab on the corner of Broadway and Cumberland Street at around 4:40 p.m. Thursday and made her way to Judy’s Bar and Grill on State Street. Officer Steve Jordan saw her enter the bar and went in after her. She then attempted to leave through the kitchen.
“She explained she was trying to use Kryptonite, which is legal,” Potter said.
Kryptonite is another street name for the lab-made stimulants and hallucinogenic drugs known as bath salts. The drugs, which the Maine Legislature is trying to make illegal, have recently emerged as a problem in the Bangor area, the sergeant said.
“I’ve heard it before,” Potter said of the Kryponite bath salt. “We would call this monkey dust,” which is another street name for the drug in the Queen City.
“Right now, it’s causing a lot of concern,” he added later. “It’s happening at an alarming rate.”
“Bath salts” usually contain mephedrone or Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV, man-made chemicals that block neurotransmitters in the brain and can stop it from making dopamine, which controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
Bangor police Lt. Jeff Millard said Thursday night that that since bath salts surfaced in the city this spring, police have been dealing with its aftermath on a regular basis. Bangor, he said, has become the New England hub for the substance.
“It’s really exploded in the past month. It’s daily now and it’s starting to increase,” he said. Given that, officers are being warned to watch for extremes in behavior, he said. “That’s the dangerous part.”
Warman, who was stopped by Brewer police with bath salts on May 7, was charged with theft of services on Thursday and taken to Penobscot County Jail. Jail officials “determined she was likely under the influence of bath salts” and transferred her to Eastern Maine Medical Center, Potter said.
According to Bangor Daily News archives, Warman’s criminal history includes convictions for assault, theft, bail violations, drunken driving and driving without a license.
The incident involving Warman was the second linked to bath salts that Bangor police dealt with on Thursday, Millard said.
A city police officer was forced to use a Taser to subdue a 25-year-old Bangor woman about 8:45 a.m. after she was found walking on lower Lincoln Street, near the intersection with Main Street, in a distraught, delusional state.
Millard said an ambulance was called but the woman resisted efforts to get her in it.
“The concern was that she was trying to run into traffic,” Millard said, adding that her name is being withheld because the incident has been characterized as a medical issue subject to federal confidentiality laws.
He said the woman was taken to EMMC and that no further information was available. He said she has not been charged.