Reddit Asheville: Someone drugged my drink at a downtown bar

| February 5, 2013 | Comments (33)

PrintFrom Reddit Asheville, a local woman posts that she suspects her drink was drugged at a downtown Asheville bar this past weekend:

I will spare you the details, but I want to share with anyone who goes out to bars that someone put some kind of drug in my drink this past Saturday night while I was hanging out with friends at the Imperial Lounge. Fortunately, my friends got me home safe when they realized I was seriously fucked the fuck up. It’s taken me two days to piece together the events at the end of my evening and to lead me to this conclusion, which I am sure about.

Sadly, I have discovered, talking to friends, that this is a woefully common occurance around town. I guess I should have known better, and I know I left my drink unattended when I went to smoke and pee, feeling as safe as we all often do in Asheville.

Reddit post.

This incident and the others mentioned in the Reddit comments are unconfirmed. If anyone suspects they’ve ingested a drugged drink, they need to make a report with the Asheville Police Department.

Also, Jesse Ratliff of The Imperial Life wants to assure people that his establishment is a safe, well-lit environment for patrons. And he’s got cameras. From Jesse:

We’d like to offer our surveillance footage and any help substantiating the allegation of drugging.

Finally, Our VOICE, a local organization that serves area people affected by sexual assault and abuse, has offered a “Bar Outreach” program since 2008, when the organization says that its staff  ”noticed a rise in the number of reports of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA).”

Click here for more information on the program.

UPDATED 2/6: Our VOICE adds that anyone who thinks he or she has been drugged can make an anonymous “blind report” to Our VOICE:  ”The more reports we can send to the police, the more information they can have to possibly do something about this issue.”

If you think you have been the victim of a drugging, regardless if it ended in an assault, it is still helpful to make a report. You can go to the police, or you can contact us at Our VOICE. We have something called a Blind Report, you can come into the office or do it over the phone. Basically how it works is that you give us as little or as much information about the incident, and we submit it to a contact with the police. This is totally anonymous. The more reports we can send to the police, the more information they can have to possible do something about this issue.

We are in no way, trying to slander certain establishments, but please know that this can happen anywhere to anyone. Please watch your drinks and if you are with friends who are a little tipsy, keep an eye on them and their drinks. We can work together to keep each other safe. If you have questions, or wish to make a blind report, feel free to call Our VOICE at 828-252-0562.

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Comments (33)

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  1. indie says:

    Another good reason not to be a smoker and need to go outside, leaving an unattended drink.

  2. L. Leisel says:

    I was drugged at Carmel’s about a year ago. The drink was brought to me by a female server to a table where I was eating lunch with a friend. I ordered a total of 2 drinks – - but by the time I had finished eating I could barely walk. The drug totally took out my ability to coordinate my walking. I made it to my car and after a few minutes or an hour (have no clue how long it was) I called a cab to take me home. Now hear this! I’m in my 60s and have been around a very long time and I KNOW that my drink was dosed! Living through the 1970s I know what drugs are. No, I didn’t call the police. I got home and passed out for hours not able to move. So, this drink was dosed either while sitting on the bar waiting for the server to collect it or you tell me. Peace Out!

  3. Austin says:

    It happened to me at Broadways a few months back. I’m from big cities but being in asheville I think we carry this false since of security. I did end up getting home safe but it was a horrible experience. There is a number in asheville called Kelly’s Line to call and report such events anonymously. It is a sex workers hot line but they take calls of all kinds and compile information concerning specific events in specific places. I think the most important thing we can do is tell our stories so that others are more aware when out and about.

    • Nona Martin Stuck says:

      Probably better to call the Our VOICE crisis line, as it is usually answered by a live person, who can help in an emergency.

  4. Nona Martin Stuck says:

    All this name-calliing and petty bickering is diluting the message here. Drink-drugging
    can happen anywhere, to anyone. It only takes a second, and can be accomplished while the drinker’s head is turned. It frequently leads to sexual assault, but because the drug and it’s potential effect are difficult to predict, it can also lead to dangerous medical problems, and death. Let’s agree that we are all disturbed by this problem, and want to protect ourselves and each other.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My friend and I believe we were drugged this past Saturday night at a bar downtown. I have had a drug test and will find out the results today. Finding a place that performs those tests wasn’t very easy, which I found surprising. I was told by the police to submit a report if the drug test came back positive for date-rape drugs. Is it possible to submit a report otherwise?

    As far as I know, the bar (not to be named presently) is not responsible. We accepted drinks from a stranger, who said he was in town for a concert. Who knows, it may have been the same culprit. He was nice, and we were unsuspecting.

    I will say I should not have accepted the drink, but was not using my best judgment at the time. Thankfully we were not raped. We most certainly are not classless. Anyone can make a mistake, and doesn’t deserve to drugged or raped as a result.

  6. Ben says:

    Please DO report. It does not matter if you were tested or not, the police need to know and others need to be backed up if there was a situation. Most AVL bars have cameras and are happy to hand over footage to find culprits. This can happen to ANYONE – man or woman – and its awful. PLEASE report incidents so there is record and if there is a pattern, people will be caught. – Also don’t hate on people who’ve been victims…that’s horrible

  7. Daniel says:

    Thinking critically about how we keep each other safe as patrons is important, preventative measures such as watching a friend’s drink while they are away, making sure that we have friends with us to take care of each other, noting sketchy behavior to the bar staff, etc., are all important. However, we can only be expected to do so much to protect ourselves in this life, and it doesn’t mean that when bad stuff happens to us it’s our fault. Keep in mind that the drugger is trying to conduct the crime without being noticed and will wait for the best opportunity, they are working against a person who doesn’t even know that there’s opposition. So we can be on the defensive but thats a lot to hold composure around all of the time, and a lot to expect of women especially who tend to be the most targeted, both by the DFSA(drug facilitated sexual assualt) and the victim blaming. This can happen anywhere, bar staff may be well trained in looking out for sketchy behavior, and may exhibit excellent skills at taking preventative measures, practicing best practices such as not serving two drinks to one individual or taking away unattended drinks but they can’t be everywhere all of the time, no matter how well lit or “nice” the establishment is. These establishments aren’t doing anything wrong, they do the best they can, of course they can always sharpen their skills at trying to catch druggers more and more, but the same can be said about men, who tend to not be targeted as much it seems. I think that the population of people who think about staying personally safe the least are men and also it’s men who do the most victim blaming. So really men need to think more about how they can challenge the culture amongst themselves so that druggers are held accountable. Remember that Alcohol is the number one date-rape drug so if your guy friend is joking or serious about “loosening up” someone their trying to hook up, start there and challenge that.

  8. Our VOICE says:

    If you think you have been the victim of a drugging, regardless if it ended in an assault, it is still helpful to make a report. You can go to the police, or you can contact us at Our VOICE. We have something called a Blind Report, you can come into the office or do it over the phone. Basically how it works is that you give us as little or as much information about the incident, and we submit it to a contact with the police. This is totally anonymous. The more reports we can send to the police, the more information they can have to possible do something about this issue.
    We are in no way, trying to slander certain establishments, but please know that this can happen anywhere to anyone. Please watch your drinks and if you are with friends who are a little tipsy, keep an eye on them and their drinks. We can work together to keep each other safe. If you have questions, or wish to make a blind report, feel free to call Our VOICE at 828-252-0562.

  9. Abraham Lincoln says:

    watch out for Asheville’s dark-side hippies, who would love to dose your water. Then rob you, sell your organs on the black market, after sacrificing you in the middle of the woods to Satan…Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    • bob jones says:

      I hate it when they sell my organs on the black market. It’s so expensive to get them back adn then you have to wash them at least a couple of times because you have no idea who’s been using them.

  10. Eric S says:

    Obviously the woman who is spreading these allegations where this happened has no class! If this is true it could happen at any place. Any normal human being would NEVER leave there drink unattended regardless where you’re at.

    • Cletus says:

      You might leave your drink unattended if you are fucked the fuck up and you have to smoke and pee.

    • Ding says:

      Wow Eric, pretty harsh words for someone who doesn’t know the facts….looks like we got a pot/kettle/black situation here.

    • Normal human beings wouldn’t drug a drink.

    • Yeppers says:

      What a strange and utterly jackassy thing to say…people in bars, or anywhere else shouldn’t have to watch their drinks like a hawk. Unfortunately it seems that assholes are ruining it for everyone.

      I’m ready to participate in some gulabi gang type retribution for these miscreants who are going around drugging people.

    • Erin says:

      I am the one who made the original post. I have said, repeatedly, there that I do not intend to imply any culpability whatsoever on the part of the Imperial Life, and that this sort of thing can happen anywhere. I am not “spreading allegations” about any establishment or individual. What I intended to put on reddit was a reminder to my fellow Ashevillains to “watch their drinks in public places.” Nothing more, I am not accusing any individual or establishment of wrongdoing.

      • Nnya says:

        By naming the bar, you taint their image immediately. You could have written the post without naming the bar and called the police and the bar to let them know. I imagine that most business owners would love to have the chance to help you or the police before it hits the public domain.
        Unfortunately, we live in a “shoot first ask questions later” society.
        Just to be clear, I am not implying that your allegations did not occur. I just think that you may have hurt a local business in the process of notifying the public about your victimization.

        • Smytty says:

          Don’t you think that if this happened and she made a post and DIDN’T say where it happened, that she would be inundated with requests for more information? Don’t you think that other young women might want to know where predators like this might be hanging out? Don’t you think that perhaps she has an obligation to warn other women, rather than trying to protect a small business?

          She wasn’t making a claim against the bar – what can a bar really do to keep this sort of thing from happening? The onus is on the bar patron to keep a close eye on their drinks, as there are deviants out there. Additionally, the bar manager responded immediately and has started a dialogue with the woman.

          All sides appear to have behaved quite admirably, as best I can see it. With the obvious exception of the drugger.

          At the end of the day, all of us can learn from this unfortunate incident that clearly could have been much, much worse.

        • Justagirl says:

          Naming the bar may be beneficial for anyone else at said establishment that night and experienced the same thing.

        • Adam A says:

          Please stop attacking the victim, as it makes you look rather shallow. The bar isn’t implicated as a liable party, just as the location of the incident. The point of mentioning where it occurred is to show it could happen anywhere.

    • Smytty says:

      Yes, it can happen any place.

    • Forrest says:

      Seriously? You are going to blame the victim because she left her drink unattended? Had she been sexually assaulted as a result, would that have been her fault too? Having your drink drugged can happen anywhere but it shouldn’t happen anywhere and it is never the victims fault.

  11. Jesse Ratliff says:

    I am the bar manager for The Imperial Life and would like to speak to whomever made this post on Reddit. This is the first we have heard of these allegations. Our establishment is small, well lit, and we have security measures in place that may help substantiate these claims if we have more details. Please contact me directly if you have more information: jwr@jesseratliff.com

    Thank you,
    Jesse Ratliff

    • SuckItMcGee says:

      You should post this on the original Reddit link.

    • Jesse, thanks for your comment.

      I’d like to encourage anyone who suspects they have been drugged to call the police and report that they have been the victim of a crime that needs to be investigated.

      I’m puzzled by the regularly recurring posts about drugged drinks, with no police reports made.

      If you truly suspect that you have been drugged let the police know, so that you can help insure that others won’t experience what you did, or worse.

      • Erin says:

        I made this post. I did not go to the police because I was not assaulted and I am aware that my belief that I was drugged is 100% impossible to prove. So-called “date rape” drugs leave your system in 24 hours, and I was not sure what happened to me until after 24 hours, after talking with friends and checking my bank account to see if I bought more drinks than I remember. After talking to others and hearing other similar stories, I decided to post the reddit “warning.”

        • Yeppers says:

          I’m sorry this happened to you. I once was drugged and managed to get out of the situation safely. It was really frightening.

        • Sarah says:

          The same thing happened to me in 2009. I left a drink unattended at the bar, then managed to lose about 10 straight hours. It was my second (count ‘em, SECOND) drink. After a full dinner. Drinks weren’t strong.
          I was with friends, who were drinking the same pace as me which is how they knew something was up.
          But by the time I was awake and functional and trying to piece together the night, it was 24 hours later. The drug was out of my system. I didn’t even know to go to the cops until several days later. It scared the $##&* out of me but I figured since I hadn’t been assaulted I had nothing to report.
          I’m sorry this happened to you too.

        • Erin, I’m not sure you have to prove anything, just report an incident to people whose job it is to protect others. By contacting the police, you might help to catch the person who drugged you, and may try to drug others. Looks like Imperial Life might even have video of the night you were drugged.

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