Roofied

Last Tuesday night while out at a bar with my brother and a mutual friend, I was very likely “roofied” — someone slipped drugs into my drink.

The three of us have been going out for drinks once a month for going on 10 years now. We like whiskey, so we choose bars with a good selection. We especially like it when the bar makes great cocktails.

This month we chose a new speakeasy, a place we’d not visited before. I arrived first and went in, taking a seat in the bar. The bar is shaped like a backwards L, and I took the seat in the corner. Our friend, Mike, came about fifteen minutes later, and at some point later my brother, Rick, showed up. We sat three in a row at the bar.

We were drinking cocktails that night. We’d been there a couple hours or so as I finished my second cocktail and set out to order my third and final one of the night. I felt someone behind me, and occasionally caught this person, a woman, out of the corner of one eye. It was like she was hovering around us. She said something to, or asked a question of, Mike and he chatted with her briefly. Shortly I heard him invite her into our conversation. About then I chose and ordered my third cocktail. Then I found this woman sitting next to me, on the stool Mike had been occupying. I guess Mike and Rick moved down the bar to make room. And then this woman monopolized me in conversation.

I thought it was odd, but whatever, I’ll chat with whomever I guess. I mostly asked her questions about herself and let her talk. As I sat there drinking and talking, I felt myself becoming very intoxicated very fast. I drink regularly and I know what three cocktails feel like. This was way beyond that.

In my haze, I don’t remember finishing that cocktail. I do remember another cocktail appearing in front of me that I don’t remember ordering. I thought, “should I even be drinking this?” as I picked it up and took a sip of it. I have a vague memory that some sort of shot may have been placed before me, too. I don’t remember whether I drank it or not. My memories are spotty from here, and I”ll recount things as well as I can.

I suddenly and urgently needed to use the restroom. I ran in and became quite sick. Someone kept knocking on the door while I was in there and I kept yelling to be patient, I’d be out shortly. Finally I cleaned myself up and texted my brother: I need to exit quickly and quietly. Can you pay the bill and I will pay you back?

I stumbled back to the bar, unsteady on my feet. The woman was still there, talking with my brother. Mike had gone. I was a mess, and I knew it, and I probably said to Rick that I needed to get out of there. I said some sort of polite goodbye to the woman, who was standing right there with my brother. He guided me to my car and drove us to his condo a couple miles away. I remember going to the car and getting in, and then I remember shivering outside the back door to Rick’s place waiting to be let in, and I remember sitting down on his couch. I have no memory of anything else from the time we left the bar.

Next thing I remember is waking up to Rick sitting in his club chair opposite me. I had been out for a couple three hours at that point. When I woke up I felt a lot better — I felt a little hung over, but was lucid and sober.

I stayed for a while to be sure I was okay, and Rick and I debriefed the night a little. He said I’d been in the restroom for about a half an hour, and he was getting worried. I had no idea it had been that long — I thought ten minutes, tops. Rick said he texted me while I was in there. I had no memory of that, so I checked my phone. He had indeed texted — You alive? — and I had responded, I’m not great. I checked the timestamp; I had been at the bar about 4 hours by then. I saw that he had texted me about a half hour before: Looking pretty rough there, boss, want to go back to my place for a nap, or to [nearby neighborhood] for some water and walking? He must have texted that while I was sitting at the bar. I responded, Thanks for noticing. I’m not sober enough to drive home. Need a min to sober up. He replied, Let’s do that Not Here, I’m good to drive. I guess I dashed for the restroom within a few minutes after that.

I saw that I had texted my wife along the way: I think I got drugged to night I’m a mes. Rick is taking g care of me. I’m pretty sure I sent that after we reached my brother’s. That was a little more than three hours before I woke up at Rick’s.

In retrospect, I would have been wise to sleep the night on Rick’s couch. Instead, I drove home. I got there fine, thankfully, and went straight to bed.

The next morning I still felt a little hung over, but I also felt mildly disoriented and was a little unsteady on my feet. On advice from my wife and a good friend I went to the ER to get checked out. They ran drug tests, did an EKG, and also did a CT scan in case I had bumped my head along the way. The EKG and CT scan revealed nothing wrong, but my blood pressure was quite high, 170/100, which is very unusual for me. The drug tests came back negative, but the doctor said that they couldn’t test for the drug most commonly used in these cases, something called GHB. You have to test for it within 12 hours, and it had been 16 or 17.

When you read in the news of people being roofied, the victims are women and the object is usually sexual assault. I have to assume in my case the object was robbery. The woman was probably working with a partner, probably a man, who was waiting for victims to stumble out to their cars, where he’d knock them on the head or something and take their valuables. I’m glad Rick was there to take me out and drive me away, which certainly saved me from that fate.

I got over the physical after effects after a couple of days, but I still feel heavy with the knowledge that a crime was committed against me.


Comments

44 responses to “Roofied”

  1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    This is a horrific story. Good to hear it turned out as well as it did.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks. I did research on GHB and it seems that the difference in dose between “incapacitated” and “dead” is small. My unpleasant experience could have been fatal.

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Wow! Never heard of this with robbery as a motive, especially since it was obvious that you were there with friends. I can see being a target if you were there as a “loner”. I wonder how the criminals thought this was going to work with one out of a group? That your friends would just walk away? You are lucky it went the way that it did, and makes me glad I rarely go out and order cocktails unless it’s music entertainment oriented. Reminds me of that old rule that if you’re in a strange place you don’t know, ordered bottled beer and have it opened in front of you and drink out of the bottle! BTW, hope you reported this to the cops, and the bar. The cops may already know this is happening around town, may already think the new club may be in collusion with the group.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I am guessing that robbery was the motive. The classic reason to roofie someone is sexual assault, but who wants to sexually assault a 55-year-old man?

      I tried to report this to the police, but the indifference they demonstrated over the phone discouraged me.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        I’m sorry to hear that! Most police departments would be very interested in hearing that story. They can’t track enforcement zones unless they get people to call and complain, so they can identify the areas. When calling the police, I would not use any terms like”roofied”, and I would tell them you think you were drugged with robbery as a motive. I certainly would stop into the district police station where the incident happened and speak directly with them. My experience is that most clubs or taverns would know something “off” was going on in an evening, so they might be “involved”. I will say that I’ve lived a lot of places, and found the Indianapolis police department to be about one step above “Barney Fife”, but a lot of midwestern police department to are now “responding” to criminal activity, but not preventing it…

  3. Greg Clawson Avatar
    Greg Clawson

    Jim, thank goodness things didn’t go sideways that night, and all parties are safe.
    I read Fox59 news daily, downtown Indy sounds pretty sketchy after dark.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I work Downtown and spend time on the streets after dark from time to time. I’ve never felt unsafe on the street, or in a bar or restaurant (until now). There are a few bars, I’m thinking of a couple on S. Meridian, well known for trouble, but those are dance bars and such for the young crowd and that’s not my style.

  4. DougD Avatar
    DougD

    Wow, I’ve told my university aged daughter to not go to bars alone and keep an eye on her drink, and trouble is always available for those who wish to find it but you’re right, trouble doesn’t usually pursue middle aged men in groups.

    Glad to hear you recovered, it could have been much much worse

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s the thing I don’t get. I did go in alone at first, but my friend showed up within 15 minutes and it was obvious we were together.

  5. sonny rosenberg Avatar

    Yikes! That’s absolutely harrowing. What a crazy, crazy world we live in. I’m just glad things didn’t turn out far worse.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This could have been very bad, as in dead bad. The psychological impact of this has been pretty strong on me.

  6. Ward Fogelsanger Avatar
    Ward Fogelsanger

    You should probably find another bar….glad you are ok!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      First time at that one, never going back.

  7. Kurt Ingham Avatar

    Yikes! I am very glad you are OK!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Kurt. Never need to go through this again.

  8. Marc Avatar
    Marc

    Guessing in conversation with Rick or you she found out you all came separately. Her plan was to cut one of you from the herd. Maybe you looked like the one with most money or easiest to do. Scary story. Glad you came out safe & healthy

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I think you’re right, spot on. I’m very happy Rick noticed I was in distress and took care of me.

    2. Marc Avatar
      Marc

      Meant Mike not Rick

  9. Shirley B. Avatar
    Shirley B.

    It’s just awful that this happened to you! I’m so thankful you’re okay now and I hope this will never happen to you again.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you. It was an ordeal.

  10. Michael McNeill Avatar

    I’m sure that was very unsettling. Glad you recovered OK. Who’d have thought a 55 yo man would need to be on his guard having a drink with his mates? It’s a bad mad world at times.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Michael – yeah, agreed. I didn’t think I’d be a likely target of something like this.

  11. Mark Avatar
    Mark

    Did this happen in Indy? I only ask as I live a town away from you.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yep, at a bar southeast of Downtown.

    2. Mark Avatar
      Mark

      Thanks,not an are I visit. Glad you are okay.

  12. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Good to hear you‘re doing well again.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you!

  13. brandib1977 Avatar

    Yowsa, Jim! I’m so glad you are ok! This is basically my worst nightmare, especially when I travel alone. How terrifying.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It was nightmarish for sure. Glad it wasn’t worse for me.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Me too. That could have ended so much differently.

  14. Nancy Stewart Avatar
    Nancy Stewart

    Jim … Michael ( my son ) had a very frightening thing very similar to yours when he was on a business trip a few years ago. Only he was alone and and even though it was very scary, it could have ended up much worse.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I didn’t know that had happened to Michael! It’s a frightening experience.

  15. geniejan Avatar

    So thankful that you are physically okay. The mental nightmare will take some time. Things are getting more and more scary. Stay safe.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yeah, I’m still a little psychologically off after that. It’s better than just a few days ago, though.

  16. Peggy Avatar

    Wow, so glad you are OK Jim. That is so scary.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks. It feels unreal.

  17. Marian Avatar
    Marian

    Hey there, sorry to read such a horrifying story. I hope you recover well from this very traumatic experience.
    I work in a forensics lab (at a Univerity Hospital in Germany) so storys like these are part of my worklife. Its probably to late for you now but if anyone reading this ever find themselves in such a situation: Take a urine sample first thing, get to the police and report it as a suspected drugging/sexual assault, just so you have some evidence if you need it. Get there in person, take someone with you.
    Also, most “roofies” are not actually GHB but either other compounds that your body will metabolize into GHB or Benzodiazepines (those stay in your system much longer and are easily detectable). A good portions of the cases we see here are people who got too drunk and got exploited by other people by giving them even more alcohol.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you Marian. I didn’t know until it was too late that I needed a urine sample almost immediately. :-( I hope this never happens to me again, but at least now I know these things if it happens to someone I know.

  18. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Wow – sad when you have to be always on your guard, but I guess that is the world we live in!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The bad people have always been out there, but this is the first time they’ve targeted me. Not fun, but once every 55 years is an acceptable rate!

  19. Katie Yang Avatar

    My goodness, I didn’t think they would target you so blatantly even with friends around. Glad it’s over.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      IKR? Wouldn’t that make me an unattractive target? I don’t get it.

  20. fishyfisharcade Avatar

    That’s a scary story! Glad the outcome wasn’t worse than it was. It’s a shame that we have to be on our guard against things like this.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks – this could have been much worse, but it was bad enough as it was.

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