Spice believed factor in attack on CSPD officer
Man arrested, charged with assault
The trend toward more responses by local law enforcement relating to the synthetic marijuana called Spice continued Sunday at an apartment complex on the city's east side.
Police said they arrested Christopher Bennet and charged him with second-degree assault after he attacked an officer. Police believe Bennet was under the influence of Spice, a substance linked to three deaths and more than 200 injuries in Colorado.
Witnesses contacted police around 8 a.m. at the Point of View Apartments near the intersection of Pikes Peak Avenue and Murray Boulevard. Guy Thompson, a neighbor who lives in the unit under Bennet's, said he woke to the sounds of Bennet damaging his own apartment. Police confirmed that Bennet overturned his dishwasher, and threw a vacuum and other possessions from his third-floor balcony.
"All the commotion vibrated my apartment," said Thompson. "I got up and went out to see what was going on."
Police said Bennet lunged at and pushed an officer who responded to the scene. The officer wasn't hurt but Bennet received unspecified injuries while damaging his apartment, police said.
"They hauled him out in the nude and put him on a stretcher," said Thompson. "There must have been six police cars there, plus the paramedics."
Thompson and other neighbors said they didn't know Bennet, but that he lived alone. An unidentified neighbor said he spoke briefly with Bennet after the incident.
"I tried to talk to him," said the neighbor. "But I was preoccupied because my apartment was broken into last night. I'm moving now."
In the past week a local paramedic was bitten by another man suspected of being high on Spice, and federal agents arrested four people and seized 156 pounds of Spice at a business in the city.
"It's no different than taking and putting (Spice) up to your head and playing Russian roulette -- because you have absolutely no idea what is being put in this stuff," said Matt Barden, the loacl Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge.
Barden said it's important to continue educating the public about Spice because many people still are unaware of it, or don't know it's illegal.
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