Another young person is under arrest after police said he pounded on a patrol car and challenged an officer to a fight while being high on bath salts.
It's the second arrest in the past month of people acting out - and against police officers - on the sometimes legal drug.
Matthew Hammond, 21, sits in a cell at the Gwinnett County jail charged with disorderly conduct and felony obstruction. Now police are training to learn how to identify users of the substance.
Closed circuit video from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office shows Matthew Hammond being processed by officers after an alleged run in with police.
Hammond's mother called 911 last Tuesday when her son started acting strangely.
"They told me that he was walking around with a knife talking about he's going to hurt somebody. And he also had been calling me being schizophrenic, talking schizophrenic saying his friends set him up," said Hammond's unidentified mother.
Police responded to the quiet Duluth neighborhood to find Hammond highly agitated - and he had feces in his mouth. That's when the Gwinnett County police officer first saw Hammond.
"He looked out of his window and saw the subject charging directly at his patrol car," explained Corporal Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Police said Hammond became out of control, apparently high on bath salts.
"(He) banged on his windows a couple times and actually grabbed onto the latch of the door trying to open it, saying ‘come on, come on,' as if he wanted to fight," Smith said.
Just last month officers shot video Karl Laventure, whom they said was also high on bath salts. After an altercation, police pepper sprayed and tasered Laventure, which had little effect
Smith said dealing with suspects high on bath salts is a growing problem.
"There's probably been other incidents where we've encountered somebody that was a user of bath salts, but we haven't really put two and two together," Smith said.
The problem is so new officers are only now being trained to look the signs of bath salt use - speaking in gibberish, exhibiting a high level of agitation and suspects stripped of clothing because bath salts raise the body's temperature.
Police said part of the problem is every time lawmakers outlaw a particular formula of bath salts, manufacturers come up with a new combination to get around the law. That means officers just have to keep confronting users on the streets.
"We expect that we're going to see this more and more and with the extreme negative reactions that go along with this drug," Smith said. "It's got the potential to be a big problem."
Gwinnett County police just started going from store to store confiscating anything resembling bath salts, but that won't solve the problem. Right now, bath salts can be purchased right off the internet and some users get their bath salts delivered through the mail.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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