Victim warns that weekend double overdose at Capitol Hill bar was caused by rape drug — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

A victim in this weekend’s double overdose inside 11th Ave’s Purr Lounge tells CHS that he and his fiance were targeted and drugged.

“Babe, I feel crazy,” Asher Rohan told his fiance James after his second drink of the evening just before midnight Saturday night.

Rohan was about to collapse to the floor of the lounge and stop breathing. Witnesses said James turned blue. Both men were treated by Seattle Fire medics and rushed to Harborview. Police interrogated him about what kind of drugs he had taken that night. But an emergency room doctor, Rohan says, told him there was no sign of heroin use and that the type of opiate that caused the overdose is common in drugs such as gamma hydroxybutyric — GHB, the date rape drug.

Last summer, police and Capitol Hill bars warned patrons after a string of reports of drugged drink incidents.

One doctor told Rohan he sees cases of GHB symptoms every weekend. Police early Sunday morning, Rohan says, weren’t particularly interested. “I was treated like a drug addict or a junkie,” Rohan said.

With James also feeling better, Rohan is back on his feet after recovering from the weekend’s ordeal and wants the police to investigate the dangerous drugging. He hopes Purr can provide surveillance video from the night to help identify a man he believes targeted the couple and laced their drinks when they left a friend at the table and went to the bar’s bathroom. Rohan also wants people to think twice about letting their drinks out of their sight — even with a friend at the table and even in a friendly bar like Purr.

“Just because it’s a gay bar — someplace we go to feel safe — doesn’t mean you can let your guard down,” Rohan said.

If you have information about the incident Saturday night or believe you may have been targeted in a similar way, call 911 to report it to police.

UPDATE 3/29/2017: Police say the incident was reported as a drug overdose and there is not yet record of it being investigated as an assault. Sgt. Sean Whitcomb tells CHS that the department’s protocol has changed following last summer’s concerns over drugged drinks. “Now, if there is every allegation of sexual assault, there will be an automatic collection of blood,” Whitcomb said. “Specifically, so we don’t lose an opportunity to gain potentially valuable evidence.” As for Saturday’s incident, Whitcomb said he did not yet have specifics on the case he could discuss but “if there is reason to believe that somebody is doing something felonious,” the victim needs to report the crime. A key part of the evidence in any investigation could be blood drawn at the hospital during the emergency response.

UPDATE 4/1/2017: Purr owner Barbie Roberts posted the following message on Facebook Friday. She gave CHS permission to share the update and new details about the circumstances surrounding last weekend’s incident.Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 4.58.52 PM

 

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25 thoughts on “Victim warns that weekend double overdose at Capitol Hill bar was caused by rape drug — UPDATE

    • One of the guys in this story OD’ed on Wednesday 4/5 in his apartment and did not make it. Next to him and in another room, what appeared to be drugs.

  1. what would be good to see in this article is an interview with the officers involved AND the doctor that rohan says spoke with him. i find it a little odd that two people were drugged and yet there isn’t a larger investigation into it as a criminal act.

    seems like, if two people were brought to the emergency room, in the exact same condition, with the exact same chemical signatures in their bloodstream, then that would spark a police investigation.

    as it stands, i don’t think we have enough information to say that the headline for this post is accurate. if anything, it’s more aligned to sensationalist news than actual reporting.

  2. Calling GHB a “rape drug” is just as sensational as calling alcohol or xanax a rape drug. It’s extremely popular as a recreational substance, especially in the gay nightlife scene.

    Without further evidence I would be highly suspicious of the claim that these two were drugged without their knowledge.

  3. The victim said that the doctor told him there was no sign of heroin use. Seems the obvious question would be to ask the victim if he uses or has used heroin recently.

  4. First off, GHB isn’t an opiate (as the article and this “doctor” falsely claim). Second, there are tons of different kinds of opiates besides heroin. These fools probably went into the bathroom to snort cocaine and got a little more in their bag than they bargained for (like Fentanyl which is not uncommon around here). Now they are all embarrassed by what happened in the bar and they are going to try and cover it up by lying about what happened and causing a panic that someone is out there spiking drinks like a maniac.

  5. First off, GHB isn’t an opiate (as the article and this “doctor” falsely claim). Second, there are tons of different kinds of opiates besides heroin. These fools probably went into the bathroom to snort cocaine and got a little more in their bag than they bargained for (like Fentanyl which is not uncommon around here). Now they are all embarrassed by what happened in the bar and they are going to try and cover it up by lying about what happened and causing a panic that someone is out there spiking drinks like a maniac.

    Well when you do drugs in a crowded bar and OD you will probably be embarrassed. It’s NOT a reason to blow it way out of proportion and lie. They should just be happy they are alive.

    • No, GHB is not an opiate, and an ER doc at Harborview certainly knows that. This entire story is being relayed by the fellow who overdosed, which probably explains why some of the details make no sense.

      I am also curious as to how he determined this was a GHB overdose if he’d only been drinking alcohol as he claimed? It takes over a month to get a toxicology report on a blood draw back from a lab, so was this a visual diagnosis?

  6. So many holes in this story.

    They went to the bathroom together (like couples do!) and left their drinks with a “friend” and somehow (magically!) GHB is put into two drinks in a packed bar full of people.

    • Happened to a friend of mine. His drink was next to him in a crowded bar and it got spiked. It’s really not that hard when you’re in a packed, noisy space, you’re tipsy (or getting there) and you’re distracted talking with friends. Same way people get pickpocketed. Sorry that we’re not all so perfectly observant at all times as you appear to be.

      Whatever happened at Purr that night, can’t we all just be glad that the guys are okay? And if it wasn’t for CHS, 99.9999999999999% of us would likely have never known that this even took place.

      That said, I really wonder what is gained by posts like this. There was the initial post describing the incident. Then this half-assed follow up, with a bunch of second-hand and plainly inaccurate information (GHB is not an opiate, for one), leading to this comment thread with accusations! recriminations! and wild assumptions! made by people most of whom were not there during the incident.

      Perhaps it would have been better to wait until there was more information, and then decide if it was worth posting. It’s not like you’re trying to beat the competition to the presses with a major news break, unless you’re trying to beat that old dead horse of a blog, Slog.

      A final note, any party boy worth his salt knows that G and alcohol do not EVER mix. G can be lots of fun, but it is very hard to manage, and mixing it with other substances like booze can be deadly.

  7. Forget about the SPD showing any serious interest. Their lackadaisical, really couldn’t give a shit less attitude toward crime on the Hill makes the SPD a key figure in why there’s bad crimes on the Hill. More often than not, they seem useless.

  8. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say 2 things which may be highly controversial. 1. It’s someone (or multiple someone’s) behind the bar, and 2. They are specifically targeting “straight” presenting people. This happened to me after only 2 drinks. I never left my drink alone and was with my 2 close girlfriends the entire time; it was a Wednesday night and was not that busy. Later that night I was so sick I was in tears and couldn’t stop projectile vomiting. And I told my friends that I thought I was drugged. It was among the most terrifying nights I’ve ever had.

    This is not the first time that Purr specifically has gone out of their way to make me feel unwelcome there. I’m aware that I might “look” straight (whatever that means), but specifically I am not a young twink and frankly that’s the demographic they are after. Needless to say I won’t ever be going back.

    • And how do you know that your vomiting was due to some drug in your drink? You might just have been suffering from gastroenteritis (stomach flu).

  9. And after reading the comments before mine, I’d also like to add that all you victim blamers need to check yourselves first. This wasn’t my first rodeo with drugs or alcohol, and I damn well know the difference.
    And to all of you whining that the writer doesn’t know that GHB isn’t an opiod- good for you for knowing your drugs. We all are in awe of your incredible knowledge of chemistry and Internet comment posting. Your exposè is the break in this case we were all looking for, and I for one thank you.

  10. Luna sounds like a nut job.
    Victims, glad you’re ok, but time to tell the truth! Over did, embarrassed, sorry to the bar, move on.
    Your “friends” are talking.

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