Patron reports being ‘roofied’ at Nevada City bar
How can I protect myself?
Don’t accept drinks from other people.
Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
Don’t share drinks.
If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
Have a nondrinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out.
If you feel drunk and haven’t drunk any alcohol — or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual — get help right away.
A local woman who suspects she was roofied (had her drink surreptitiously drugged) at a Nevada City bar Saturday night has gone public with her experience, hoping to raise public awareness of a crime that can be difficult to prove.
A post made by her mother on several local Facebook groups has sparked a wide-ranging conversation with hundreds of comments and more than one person reporting similar assaults.
“We need more community awareness,” said A.Y., who asked that her name not be used. “We’ve been getting responses from all over, that this has happened to them.”
A.Y. said she felt a “false sense of security” because she was out with her husband — and because she felt safe in her community.
“I was born and raised on Broad Street,” she said. “You never think something like this can happen to you. … It’s traumatizing — but I feel angry more than anything.”
She and her husband had initially been at the Mine Shaft that night, where she drank a beer and a shot of tequila, she said. Then they headed to Golden Era Lounge to see a relative perform.
“I was never ‘drunk,’” she said. “I was not having trouble walking nor did I feel buzzed.”
The couple had a beer each and then split another one, A.Y. said, adding that her glass was on the counter of the bar in front of the band, in a room she described as pretty crowded.
While A.Y. was dancing, she suddenly lost control of her limbs and fell.
“I had no motor control,” she said. “My legs were like rubber bands. I was totally out of it.”
Her husband helped her outside, but she fell again on Pine Street, hitting her head.
“My husband literally couldn’t get me to the car,” she said. “I was tranquilized. He couldn’t get me up — I was a dead weight.”
A passerby helped pick her up and carried her to their car, she said, adding that she has no independent memory of what happened.
“It didn’t occur to us that I had been drugged,” A.Y. said. But when a “date rape drug” like Rohypnol was suggested, she looked up the symptoms; Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine are frequently linked to such druggings.
“I could check every box — except death,” she said.
A.Y. and her husband reported the suspected drugging to the Nevada City Police Department on Sunday.
“There is an ongoing investigation,” Officer Scott Goin said Monday. “We are following up, working with Golden Era and reviewing security footage.”
A.Y. has nothing but praise for Golden Era owner Cindy Giardina, saying, “She’s been very, very helpful — she’s been wonderful.”
Giardina said she takes the report seriously, adding, “it’s my livelihood and my reputation. … We run the tightest ship we possibly can.”
On Monday, Giardina was still poring through all of the security footage. She noted that A.Y, and her husband had stepped out of Golden Era at least once that night, for a period of about eight minutes, making it difficult to pin down what might have happened.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
A.Y. said she spoke out because she wants others to realize how easily this can happen, even to victims who don’t fit the “typical” profile.
“The term date rape drug is very misleading,” she said. In her case, she thinks “it (was) a voyeuristic thing. To see what happens — to watch the havoc ensue.”
More education about the possible symptoms needs to happen, she said — possibly through warning signs in bathrooms.
“You can mistake it for being wasted — but I was not drunk whatsoever,” she said.
And, A.Y. added, if potential victims learn to recognize the symptoms of being drugged, they will be more likely to report it.
“There’s shame associated with making a fool of yourself,” she said. “No one wants to be the girl who passes out on the dance floor.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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