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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Three UC Davis students report tainted drinks

Toxicology reports showed an unknown substance, police still investigating

In the course of a little over two weeks, the Davis Police Department received three reports of instances in which women — all students at UC Davis — experienced blackouts, abnormal behavior and scares due to drinking alcoholic beverages that had been tampered with. It is believed that these three women were drugged on various accounts while out. These reports were all filed within a short time frame, and police are still investigating the matter.

“Anytime you go into a club or bar, the problem is, as you drink, your awareness goes down,” said Lieutenant Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department. “This is natural, and you have to understand you are not in a completely safe environment. Keep your awareness up, and make sure people around you are being respectful. Number two, don’t leave your drink. If you have friends around you, that is best, we would love to have these things reported. If you aren’t feeling right after drinking, go get medical help. We don’t know what is being put in drinks — we encourage reporting — [but] it is hard for us to see the overall problem because we don’t have that information flowing in.”

April 17 marked the first instance when a woman reported experiencing memory loss and a blackout without having drunk an excessive amount of alcohol. The second account took place on May 1 at the same bar as the mid-April case, WunderBar, located on G Street. Fox40 noted that “WunderBar has more security than anybody,” after speaking with the owner of the bar.

“It’s never that student’s fault that this happens,” said Raeann Davis, with UC Davis’ student health services, to KCRA 3. “We do suspect that this is something that’s under-reported and so by students reporting that to the police department, we can then do more as a community and as a campus.”

The most recent report was for an occurence on May 3 at Bistro 33, when the restaurant and bar received more traffic than usual, hosting a party for over 200 people.

“I actually know two of the girls that were drugged — I drove straight to the hospital when the most recent incident happened with my friend at Bistro 33 — I knew something was not right,” said a friend of two of the victims, who preferred to remain anonymous. “The worst part was she was surrounded by people that care and love her when this all went down, so these kinds of situations can literally happen anywhere and at any time.”

Each woman was admitted to Sutter Davis Hospital once the realization struck that something was not right. The information gathered from the previous night was all from secondhand sources. Davis police are warning individuals to be extra cautious of where a drink is set and who a drink is received from.

Common date rape drugs leave the body within 24 hours, and according to toxicology results from the hospital, additional substances beyond alcohol were present in the women’s systems.

“Some of the chemical tests had shown that an unknown substance was present,” Doroshov said.

None of the three women reported being physically harmed while under the influence.

The Center for Advocacy, Resources & Education at UC Davis offers support through counselors as well as opportunities to get involved and support survivors. The Center emphasized that survivors of any sort of sexual violence or harassment can and should reach out for anything they need.

Written by: Lauren Tropio — city@theaggie.org


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