While we hesitated to guess what could have led a 21-year-old woman to break into a Cow Hollow home with a hatchet and threaten to kill herself with a trigger-locked and unloaded shotgun last week, SFPD is now saying she was high on bath salts.
In case you've been living under a rock for the past year: this doesn't mean the suspect — who was hauled away from the Lyon Street home in pajama pants — spent the two hour standoff soaking in a tub. Rather, she had ingested any number of extremely paranoia-inducing synthetic drugs that are readily available at headshops, gas stations and convenience stores across the nation. They've become popular with the more desperately druggy types and gained national notoreity after a Florida man ate another man's face while high on the stuff. In response to the growing problem, bath salts (occasionally call "spice") were added to the Schedule I list of controlled substances last year, but the constantly changing formula of the drug makes them particularly difficult to ban.
Although reports of bath salts have been scarce in San Francisco, Police managed to handle the volatile suspect before she could do any harm to herself or anyone else. The standoff saw SFPD bringing in the riot vehicle and SWAT team, but the cops managed get her to drop the hatchet and shotgun when they beaned her with a less-than-lethal round from a bean bag gun.
The "officers showed incredible restraint,” Police Commission President Thomas Mazzucco said later. “Probably if it had been in any other jurisdiction, that young lady would not be here today. ... Hopefully this young lady and her family will someday appreciate that.”
In other news: one local company, a manufacturer of actual relaxation potions, has been hit pretty hard by this nationwide drug epidemic.