Blog Report

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Man Beaten by Huffer in Pennsylvania Rite-Aid

From the Morning Call in Pennsylvania:

A 54 year-old drug store clerk in Schuylkill County tried to stop a man from huffing in the store and was beaten.

The man was working in a Rite-Aid when he noticed a man take two aerosol cans off a shelf and start to inhale from the cans. When he confronted the man, he was punched and kicked several times in the head, chest and back. The man then ran from the store.

Butane Death in South Africa

From the Independent Online:

On November 29th, a 23 year-old man was found dead, lying at the poolside of his brother’s house. He is suspected of abusing butane gas.

A few months ago, his father had found the man huffing lighter fuel in his bedroom, spoke to him about it, and thought the situation was concluded.

Sandra Pretorius, director of the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence notes that “only one to two cases from their monthly caseload of around 60 were butane based.” She also noted that in the past it was a popular inhalant for street children but is now more commonly used by a wider population and that the centre has seen inhalant cases in children as young as ten years old.

In addition, she remarked that drug use typically increases during this season as students are writing their exams and are “looking for stimulants to stay awake.”

14 Year-old Girl Dead After Huffing

From the Behavioral Health Central:

Authorities suspect inhalant abuse killed a 14 year-old female in New Mexico.

Gianna Martinez’s parents were out buying a car while she stayed home. At 3:15 pm her father spoke with her via phone and she told him everything was fine. A little while later after she didn’t respond to a second call, her mother became concerned and the family returned home to check on her.

Gianna’s 9 year-old brother was the one who found her lying in a home office, the can of keyboard cleaner on the floor beside her. Her mother, a nurse, performed CPR on her but Gianna was unresponsive and two hours later was pronounced dead at the hospital.

For more information on the dangers of huffing computer dusters, please visit our Duster FAQ sheet.

Serial Paint Huffer Kills 73-Year Old Man

From WYFF4.com in Boiling Springs, South Carolina:

A 50 year-old man who has been “convicted nearly two dozen times of huffing paint” was sentenced earlier this month for killing a 73-year old man.


The 73-year old man and his wife had befriended the 50 year-old male months ago, offering him food and shelter. However, one night, the man came home in a delusional state and begin cursing in a telephone conversation. When the homeowner questioned him about his language, the man “knocked him to the floor and bent his legs back over his head and crushed him with his weight.” The man suffered a broken neck and died from his injury two weeks later.

The man’s wife found her husband when she came home and called 911. The man was still conscious and able to identify his attacker. The 50 year-old was arrested and will be required to “serve more than 25 years of his prison sentence before he is eligible for release.”

Huffing Incidents in Arkansas

From the BaxterBulletin.Com in Mountain Home, Arkansas:

Mountain Home Police are concerned about the recent increase in the use of computer dusters to get high.

This past month they have responded to two local cases. In the first, a 28-year old female was found slumped over her steering wheel in a parking lot. When the police arrived, she begin inhaling from a can of computer dusting spray.

In the second, a 27-year-old female was also found in her car in a parking lot. Within the car police found an empty can of the dusting spray and another half empty bottle. She was “arrested and charged with breathing, inhaling or drinking certain intoxicating compounds, a misdemeanor.”

Lt. Nevin Barnes from the Mountain Home police's criminal investigations division noted thattwo of the last three cases of huffing computer dusting spray that he has personally dealt with resulted in death.

For more information on the dangers of huffing computer dusters, please read our Computer Duster FAQ sheet

New Inhalant Data: 2009 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey

The results of the 2009 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey were recently released.

Below you'll find inhalant-specific data from their findings. Click on each image below for a larger copy.






Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Refrigerant Thefts in Tennessee

From VolunteerTV.Com in Tennessee:

Sevier County, TN authorities are concerned about several recent refrigerant thefts and they fear that the refrigerant is being used as an inhalant by at least two individuals.

The article describes the most recent case. Last Sunday, two young males in a “blue late model Honda civic with Tennessee tags” approached the heating and ventilation system of a local drug store. Surveillance cameras caught the incident and the owners soon noticed the system wasn’t working as the refrigerant has been stolen.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Men Caught 'Huffing' in Restroom

From The Sentinel in Pennsylvania

Two males, one 27 and the other 22, have been charged with retail theft and public drunkenness in the form of inhaling illegal solvents after they were caught stealing three cans of dust remover from the shelves of a local retail store on the morning of December 20th. Reports allege the two men took the cans of unpaid computer duster into the store's restroom and proceeded to 'huff' the contents in a bathroom stall. Court dates have yet to be publicly released.

Police Pull-Over Disoriented Driver

From The Niles Daily Star in Michigan

After observing a pick-up truck with no headlights on traveling northbound in a southbound lane early last Tuesday morning, Niles City Police stopped the vehicle only to discover the driver was high after ‘huffing’ paint. At 1:58 a.m. officers “found the driver exhibiting slow and lethargic behavior- appearing disoriented.” After searching the truck and finding “baggies and canister of spray paint,” police determined the driver had been inhaling fumes from the cans of spray paint. Officers transported the driver to a nearby hospital for evaluation and are awaiting the approval for an arrest warrant.

Charges To Be Filed In Duster Accident

From The News Tribune in Washington

Criminal charges are expected to be filed against a 20-year-old Washington woman for her involvement in a three-car collision last October. According to police reports, Kristina Vogt passed out behind the wheel after ‘huffing’ computer duster with friends- prompting her vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic at speeds of more than 60 mph.

In an attempt to regain control of the vehicle, Vogt’s front seat passenger grabbed the wheel but was unable to avoid striking an oncoming truck. Vogt will likely be charged with “vehicular assault for causing the crash and injuring two passengers in her car.” No other injuries were reported.

Following extensive police questioning, Vogt admitted to ‘huffing’ computer duster prior to the accident; telling officers she and her two female passengers had purchased the duster from a local store and had been inhaling the contents in a nearby parking lot. Officers later recovered three canisters of duster from the vehicle. Police have also confirmed that samples of Vogt’s blood collected after the crash show traces of “marijuana and an ingredient commonly found in dust removers.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

Crash Points to 'Dusting'

From Cleburne Times-Review in Texas

Authorities in Cleburne, Texas believe ‘huffing’ is to blame for a single vehicle wreck that occurred early Tuesday morning- injuring three. Although the investigation is ongoing, an officer was able to document the entire accident with a video recording device, revealing the vehicle “drive up on the curb, swerve back left, and cross all lanes of traffic before crashing into the side of a church, bouncing off and coming to a rest.”

None of the three people inside the vehicle were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. According to police, the 23-year-old driver suffered minimal injuries. However, the front seat passenger, an 18-year-old male, was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby medical center where he is currently being treated for critical brain injuries. The third passenger, a 17-year-old male, was reportedly treated for a skull fracture.

Criminal charges are expected to be filed pending a full investigation. Local news coverage of the accident can be viewed at WFAA-TV.com.

Couple Sniffs Glue In Front Of Child

From TheNewsStar.com in Louisiana

A mother and father are in jail after authorities caught them sniffing glue while driving their 2-month-old child from a local shopping mall early Thursday. According to police reports the couple was initially pulled over by “a member if the sheriff’s Interstate Crime Enforcement Unit” for excessive speeding- traveling 77 mph in a 60 mph zone. However upon approaching the vehicle, the deputy “smelled the overwhelming odor of a toxic chemical, saw several glue tubes on the floorboard, and observed glue particles on the lips, noise, hands, and clothing of the couple.”

After submitting to police questioning the noticeably impaired couple, both 26, admitted they had been sniffing glue while on their way home from a shopping trip with their child. Both are being charged with “abuse of toxic vapors and cruelty to a juvenile.” The infant was taken to a nearby medical center for evaluation and is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grocery Store Sued For Wrongful Death

From The Dothan Eagle in Alabama

Earlier this month a Dothan Circuit Court judge ruled that a full trial would be necessary in order to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a local grocery store. City resident Mary Downing filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Southern Family Markets grocer in February 2007, holding the business directly responsible for the death of her husband. On January 13, 2007 Larry Downing was struck and killed in the parking lot of Southern Family Markets by a female driver who was ‘huffing’ behind the wheel.

Downing’s suit (which also holds the City of Dothan liable) contends that a store supervisor knew the driver was under the influence of inhalants and even witnessed the woman “take a hit of computer duster” while driving through the grocery store parking lot- just moments before the fatal crash.

While the legal dispute between Downing and Southern Family Markets will most likely culminate into a civil trial in the upcoming year, the driver responsible for the accident pleaded guilty to the murder of Larry Downing and was sentenced to 25 years in prison last month.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Man Targets Dairy Aisle

From LancasterOnline.com in Pennsylvania

A 24-year-old male was arrested last Friday after he was caught stealing from a local business. The suspect reportedly took a canister of whipped cream from a dairy aisle shelf and proceeded to 'huff' the nitrous oxide from the can before returning the product to the shelf. He then attempted to leave the store with unpaid merchandise that included “an iPod case, cosmetics, and armbands valued at $32.20.” The suspect was arrested and charged with a felony offense of retail theft due to his numerous prior shoplifting convictions, and is being held in jail on a $15,000 cash bond.

City Approves Anti-Huffing Ordinance

From Pasadena Star-News in California

Officials in Azusa, California have passed a city-wide mandate in the hopes of deterring local teens and tweens from abusing aerosol products- drastically reducing the practice of ‘huffing.’ It is now considered a misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 18 to possess an aerosol product without proper parent and/or guardian documentation. Last summer, City Councilman Robert Gonzales began to lobby for an anti-huffing ordinance after discovering aerosol cans concealed in various student hangouts and shopping centers across the community during a city beautification project. Gonzales believes the mandate will drastically reduce crime and drug abuse among Azusa teens.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Restroom 'Huffer' Apprehended

From THonline.com in Dubuque, Iowa

Police arrested a 30-year-old woman on Sunday afternoon inside a convenience store on charges of ‘sniffing chemicals.’ Store employees reportedly notified police that there “was a woman ‘huffing’ from a can” in the restroom. When officers arrived to the store and entered the restroom they discovered the suspect standing over the sink; struggling to hold herself up. Officers then recovered an empty 10-ounce can of computer duster from the woman’s coat pocket.

Dental Office Burglarized

From the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas

Last week police received word that a local dental office had been burglarized overnight. The dentist told officers the intruders “threw a large decorative rock through a glass door to make entry” and proceeded to steal a large tank of nitrous oxide stored in the office for dental procedures. The tank of nitrous oxide was taken from a closet and is “4 feet tall, blue, and heavy” according to the dentist. Police are continuing their investigation and are working to apprehend the thieves.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Teen Assaults ER Doc

From The Gladwin County Record in Michigan

Police were called to Mid Michigan Medical Center earlier this month after being notified that an emergency room doctor had been assaulted by a patient. According to police reports, the 18-year-old patient “was taken to the emergency room by his father for consuming approximately 20 Xanax pills and ‘huffing’ an aerosol product.”

The teen apparently lashed out and punched the ER doctor in the face after being repeatedly questioned as to the type of drugs he had ingested. The teen will appear in court January 1st on charges of assault and battery.

Jury Finds Driver Guilty

From Casper Star Tribune Online in Wyoming

On December 10th a jury found Justin Breazele, 23, of Casper guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide in the death of a 72-year-old woman after less than two hours of deliberation. The 23-year-old was charged with vehicular homicide after he passed out behind the wheel of a truck and slammed into a passing station wagon driven by a 72-year-old woman last March. He was allegedly ‘huffing’ computer duster prior to the fatal collision.

An accident expert with the Casper Police Department testified that Breazeale’s vehicle crossed three lanes of traffic before striking the victim’s car, which was either stopped or barely moving. Evidence indicated that Breazeale was traveling around 33 mph and failed to utilize his brakes.

Investigators recovered two cans of computer duster from Breazeale’s vehicle after the accident- one of which had been used. Breazeale told police he had bought the duster in an attempt to clean up a pile of cigarette ashes that had spilled onto the floor. However, authorities were unable to locate any trace of ash inside the vehicle.

In court Breazeale admitted to not remembering the fatal crash, denying claims that he had been huffing computer duster. He also told jurors a pre-existing medical condition was to blame for his blacking out behind the wheel; identified as epilepsy.

However, “Breazeale's ex-girlfriend who was riding in the truck when the accident occurred testified Breazeale had huffed duster in the minutes leading up to the crash and was passed out when he struck the victim’s vehicle.”

Breazeale is expected to be sentenced within the next two months and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.

Police Catch 'Huffing' Shoplifter

From The Argus Leader in South Dakota

A 34-year-old Sioux Falls man was arrested earlier this month for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, shoplifting, and inhaling a substance for the purpose of becoming intoxicated. The suspect was caught stealing several cans of computer duster from a local store and ‘huffing’ their contents in the store’s restroom. Employees reportedly “heard a hissing noise coming from the bathroom” and immediately confronted the man and forced him to leave the premises. Employees then notified police of the incident, submitting a full description of the ‘huffer.’ Police located the suspect shortly thereafter, and despite a “brief scuffle” placed the suspect into custody. No injuries have been reported.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Man Caught 'Huffing' Propane

From WBKT News in Wisconsin

A 38-year-old Wisconsin man faces more than six years in prison after he was arrested for “allegedly huffing propane gas” at a local mall. According to reports, a mall security guard witnessed the suspect “put his mouth and nose toward the nozzle of a propane tank and inhale.” After being spotted, the suspect apparently fled to a different nearby store where he continued to ‘huff.’ The suspect was eventually detained by police and charged with “illegal possession of a hazardous substance and bail jumping.”

Friday, December 4, 2009

Man Arrested Twice in 24-Hours

From The Rockdale Citizen in Georgia

A 45-year-old Covington man was arrested twice in a span of 24-hours last month after being caught “intentionally inhaling model glue fumes and driving while under the influence of multiple substances.”

According to police reports, officers first found the suspect ‘huffing’ in a parked minivan outside of a local retail store. As officers approached the vehicle the suspect continued to “inhale vigorously;” appearing very “disoriented and confused.” Following a complete search of the minivan, police recovered 8-11 canisters of aerosol, various prescription medications, and an empty bottle of liquor. The suspect, who was placed into police custody and released later that day, admitted to having huffed the contents of 8 cans in the hours leading up to his arrest.

The following day, the 45-year-old was arrested for his involvement in a “one-vehicle traffic accident.” A resident called police after witnessing a minivan drive over a mailbox and flee the scene. The witness also noticed the driver was ‘huffing’ from a can of computer duster.

Police were able to track down the suspect in his minivan parked outside of a local grocery store. He was arrested and charged with “driving under the influence of multiple substances, striking a fixed object, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident.” As of November 25 the suspect remained in jail.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mother Jailed For 'Huffing' in front of Son

From WSMV-TV News in Nashville, Tennessee

The mother who was caught huffing computer duster while driving as her 6-year-old son looked on from the back seat, will spend 30 days in jail on a DUI charge. On August 18th a passing motorist noticed the suspect driving erratically and even witnessed her take several ‘hits’ from an aerosol can. The motorist began following the vehicle and discovered “a little boy sitting in the back seat with his nose pressed against the back seat window looking scared to death.”

The suspect eventually pulled over only to continue huffing in front of her son and the tailing driver. According to incident reports, the driver was able to secure the 6-year-old from his mother’s car just before she fled the scene.

Police charged the mother with DUI and 'the implied consent and neglect of a child.' However after reaching a plea bargain with the prosecution, the neglect charges were dropped. This is not the suspect’s first criminal offense. In fact, she was on probation for a felony drug charge at the time of the incident.

Cemetery 'Huffer' On The Loose

From The Record Eagle in Michigan

Police in Traverse City are on the look-out for a man who violently assaulted a cemetery grounds manager after being discovered inhaling what appeared to be glue on the premise. When the manager directed the intruder to leave the cemetery the suspect attacked him from behind, “repeatedly punching and kicking him, before running off.”

Strangely the suspect was sighted again two hours later when he “jumped into a woman’s car and asked for a ride home.” However, when the woman refused he ran off again. Police have collected several empty containers of glue from around the cemetery, suggesting the suspect’s antics were related to ‘huffing.’ The cemetery manager suffered from minor facial injuries including several bruises and a chin laceration.

Former UCF Student Sentenced

From The Central Florida Future in Florida

A former University of Central Florida student will spend 18 months in prison in connection to an October 2006 car crash that left another UCF student dead. Malcolm Barnes pled “no contest in a Florida court November 20th for DUI and manslaughter charges.”

Accident reports reveal Barnes was under the influence of inhalants when he drove into oncoming traffic, struck a motorcycle head on, and killed the driver near the UCF campus. Barnes was apparently so high that he was unaware he had hit another vehicle, and dragged the motorcyclist 300 feet before stopping.

Deputies discovered two cans of computer duster and a rag while searching Barnes’ vehicle. Blood tests also confirmed he had been ‘huffing.’

While the minimal prison sentence for a typical DUI manslaughter case is nine years, Barnes was given a lighter sentence due to his “true remorse” for his actions. He extended an apology to family members and friends of the victim stating, “I am ashamed and deeply sorry to be involved so negatively in your lives…you did not deserve this nightmare.”

In addition to serving 18 months in jail, he will also face two years of probation requiring him to spend 150 hours speaking to area youth about the dangers of ‘huffing’ and driving while intoxicated. His driver’s license has been revoked indefinitely.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nitrous Oxide Found at Murder Scene

From Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska

Officers say substance abuse may have played a role in the deaths of two Alaskan residents earlier this month. A 38-year-old male was fatally shot by a State Trooper after he aggressively lunged toward an officer with a knife. Police were dispatched to the man's residence following a 911 call made from within the home. According to reports, officers discovered the fatally stabbed body of a 66-year-old woman inside the home, identified as the man’s mother. Police believe inhalants were a factor in the brutal murder of the 66-year-old, as officers discovered thousands of small nitrous oxide canisters scattered throughout the home. The investigation is ongoing.

Notorious Paint Huffer in Recovery

From The Wheeling News-Register in West Virginia

Prolific paint huffer Patrick Tribett is speaking out about his battle with inhalant abuse and publically addressing his past drug use, legal troubles, and infamous mug shot. The 45-year-old West Virginia native is known for his string of ‘huffing’ related arrests over the past decade- many yielding photos of his lower face covered in gold paint. Tribett, who has been arrested and jailed for inhalant related incidents since 1998 (and as recent as October 2009) is now enrolled in a drug treatment program with the aim of getting healthy and sober.

Tribbet was first introduced to inhalants when he was 16 or 17 and continued ‘huffing’ as a means of “escaping” from reality. He says his addiction to inhalants developed despite coming from a “normal and good family.” Tribett was even set to receive a college degree from Concord University in West Virginia when his addiction resurfaced and landed him in jail. He hopes to one day return to college and earn a bachelors degree.

When asked about his plans for the future, Tribbet remained optimistic, revealing he would “like to get straight…have a job and a little apartment.” With the help of a Wheeling, West Virginia recovery center Tribett has maintained his sobriety for 8 weeks and shows no sign of slowing down.

Tribett has also hired a lawyer to prepare a legal assault against several companies who have been profiting from the use of his paint covered face. It has been reported that his mug shot was featured on a billboard in Europe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Driver Pleads Guilty in Berry-Pickers Death

From The Grand Island Independent in Nebraska

The 24-year-old driver responsible for striking and killing an 83-year-old woman in June has rendered his guilt on charges of vehicular homicide. The driver who had been ‘huffing’ computer duster behind the wheel, allegedly blacked out- prompting his pick-up truck to veer off the roadway and fatally hit an elderly woman who was picking berries in her back yard.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to reduce the criminal charges from a Class II felony (accompanied by a maximum penalty of 50 years in jail) to a Class III felony (carrying a 20 year maximum sentence). The 24-year-old Grand Island driver is scheduled to appear in court January 14th, 2010 for sentencing.

Man Frantically Calls 911

From The Express-Star in Oklahoma

Police in Grady County, Oklahoma received several frantic 911 calls from a man residing in “a dilapidated” home earlier this month who expressed concerns he was suffering from a heart attack. The caller, identified as resident “Scooter” Pitts, was apparently “high from sniffing paint and in a bout of paranoia” when he contacted 911.

Police arrived to the residence with Pitts’ brother who informed officers of Pitts past history of sniffing paint and ramped mental problems. Officers removed Pitts from the home after discovering he had an outstanding city warrant. Police noted the disheveled state of the residence and its lack of functioning electricity and water.

Tucson Restricts Access to Whippets

From Arizona Daily Star in Arizona

Last week the Tucson City Council made great strides in reducing the number of local teens and tweens who have access to buying whippets- tiny canisters of nitrous oxide gas commonly used for the purpose of getting high. The city unanimously passed a city-wide ordinance that requires all businesses to “keep nitrous oxide cartridges behind store counters and check for proper identification to ensure the buyer is at least 18 years old.”

Tucson police officers are in full support of the new legislation, viewing it as a preventative measure necessary to keep whippets out of the hands of minors. City officials were first informed of the issue by a local resident who started noticing an abundance of “shiny metal cartridges” along neighborhood streets, and began collecting them in large quantities to present to city council members. While the ordinance has been approved, it is now up to the city of Tucson and local law enforcement officers to reinforce and sustain the ordinance’s mandates and restrictions.

For more information regarding whippets and the harmful effects of nitrous oxide click here to view ACE's whippet FAQ.

Jankins Heads to Prison For Fatal Crash

From Philly.com in Pennsylvania

Rachael Jankins, 20, was sentenced to four-and-a-half to 10 years in prison for her involvement in the August 14th crash outside Delaware County Memorial Hospital that killed 19-year-old Nicole Gallo and seriously injured 20-year-old Christine Bochanski. Jankins initially told police she was distracted by her iPod when she lost control of her vehicle and struck both women. However, police have ruled that Jankins was ‘huffing’ computer duster prior to the accident, as her blood tested positive for difluoroethane- a chemical concentrated in keyboard cleaning spray.

Jankins pled guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and aggravated assault yesterday. In addition to her prison sentence, Jankins will serve 6 years probation and be expected to pay over $18,000 in restitution.

Monday, November 30, 2009

'Huffer' Causes Traffic Jam

From WOWT News in Nebraska

Police arrested a 48-year-old woman after they discovered her passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle and blocking local traffic. According to reports, a man phoned police after he noticed “a Jeep Cherokee facing north in the southbound lanes of an intersection just after 6 p.m. on Thursday November 19th.”

When police arrived to the scene the man told officers he had tried to rouse the driver, and after several attempts she woke up only to inhale from a can of computer duster. Once regaining consciousness, the 48-year-old woman told police she had indeed been ‘huffing’ duster on her way back from grocery shopping and did not remember passing out. After processing the woman’s information, police also placed her into custody for driving without a license and placing fictitious plates on a vehicle.

Driver In Fatal Crash Sentenced

From The Daily Item in Pennsylvania

The 22-year-old driver responsible for causing a fatal wreck last January was sentenced Tuesday in Snyder County. Jessica Curry admitted to huffing computer duster prior to “swerving into oncoming traffic and striking another vehicle head on” in an accident that killed her 20-year-old friend and passenger Jason Noll, and left a 56-year-old woman wheel chair bound.

Curry was “sentenced for homicide by vehicle” after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, illegal use of solvents, two counts of driving on the wrong side of the road, and a seat belt violation back in September. Authorities recovered several cans of dust remover from Curry’s vehicle at the accident scene.

At the request of Jason Noll’s family, Judge Harold Woelfel Jr. “rejected the state’s request for a state prison sentence of up to seven years” and instead “imposed a county jail term of less than two years.” Noll’s family wanted Curry to “have the chance to turn her life around” –even granting her their forgiveness for Jason’s death.

According to court documents Curry was an avid ‘huffer’ who would get high with her mother on a regular basis (who is now in a state mandated drug treatment facility). Along with serving her term in county jail, Curry will serve six years of probation- requiring her to enroll in a drug treatment program and abstain from using alcohol and drugs. Moments before her sentencing Curry addressed the court stating, “I’m really sorry…I’m not a bad person…I just made a mistake.”

Paint 'Huffer' Attacks Officer

From Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico

Earlier this month a 46-year-old Las Cruces man was arrested and jailed for his unmitigated attack on a local police officer. Police were responding to a report of vandalism when they found a 46-year-old man inhaling paint at a busy intersection. One officer “reported smelling paint on the man’s breath and even discovered a can of paint in one of his pockets.” The paint ‘huffer’ was placed into custody and brought to the Las Cruces County Jail on charges of criminal property damage and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Following his arrival to jail the suspect grew agitated and refused to follow simple police orders; aggressively lunging at one officer who was trying to get him to sit on a bench. The suspect reportedly “became and angry and lost control; knocking the officer over and pinning him into a corner where he repeatedly kneed the officer four or five times in the legs and attempted to bite him.” According to incident reports, the officer fought back and was eventually able to restrain the suspect. No serious injuries were reported. The 46-year-old later blamed his outburst on ‘huffing’ and was charged with felony battery on a police officer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Police Bust 12 for Nitrous Oxide

From KYpost.com in Kentucky

This weekend Cincinnati Police arrested 12 individuals on separate charges of possession, trafficking, and use of nitrous oxide gas. All 12 arrests stemmed from a two-day musical performance of the rock band Phish- held in Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena. Police reports reveal that of those arrested, none were from the Cincinnati area. All are expected to appear in court this week.

Arrests included that of a 37-year-old male from New York and a 39-year-old male from Philadelphia who were detained for allegedly selling three nitrous filled balloons to an undercover police officer for $20. Both men are charged with trafficking a harmful intoxicant. Officers also arrested a 32-year-old male from Indianapolis inside the venue’s parking garage after witnessing him inhale from a nitrous balloon and attempt to flee. When police ordered him to hand over the balloon without letting go, he failed to obey orders; releasing two balloons into the air and destroying substantial evidence.

Driver Admits to Using Duster

From The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota

A 24-year-old driver responsible for hitting two vehicles in a collision last August has admitted to inhaling computer duster while driving. The 24-year-old male reportedly crashed into two cars before slamming his vehicle into a tree; injuring his female passenger. Yesterday in court, the driver pled guilty to charges of driving under the influence and fleeing from an accident. In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the additional three felony charges and four misdemeanor charges filed in connection with the accident. The 24-year-old is expected back in court on December 14th for sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of two years in jail for each charge.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Police Suspect 'Huffing' in Explosion

From PennLive.com in Pennsylvania

Last week an 18-year-old man was seriously injured after his vehicle exploded in the parking lot of a retail store early Monday morning. Police are investigating as to whether or not the young man was ‘huffing’ prior to the explosion. In his statement to police, the teen claimed “he had filled the car with gasoline and pulled into a nearby parking lot to light a cigarette when his car caught fire.”

Despite invoking a powerful explosion that “blew out the car’s windshield and bent out the frames to the four side windows” no damage was done to the store, the parking lot, or any other surrounding vehicles. The teen is currently being treated at an area burn center where doctors are assessing his injuries.

Police have impounded the teen’s car to further examine the cause of explosion, and are working alongside local firefighters to collect any evidence that may attribute the incident to ‘huffing.’

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two 'Huffing' Offenses in Two Weeks

From The Citizen of Morris County in New Jersey

A 48-year-old man has been arrested for 'huffing' for the second time in just two weeks. Officers discovered the suspect behind a local business “inhaling toxic chemicals from a spray can of household product,” not far from where he was arrested for a similar offense on October 28th. Police were called to the area after receiving notification of a “man lying on the sidewalk” near a busy highway. The suspect was arrested and charged with the “inhalation of toxic chemical fumes” for the second time in two weeks.

College Student Causes Wreck

From GoBlueRidge.net in North Carolina

A three-vehicle wreck in Boone County last weekend is being attributed to ‘huffing’ behind the wheel. Accident reports reveal that a 21-year-old Appalachian State student is responsible for crossing the median and striking two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Witnesses disclosed to police that they had seen the 21-year-old driver with “a can of aerosol held up to his mouth, appearing dazed” moments before the collision. Authorities have also concluded that speed played a significant factor and estimate that the 21-year-old was traveling upwards of 50 mph in a 35mph zone. Police have charged the driver with “driving while impaired, reckless driving, speeding, inhaling toxic fumes, and possessing drug paraphernalia.” All involved were transported to a nearby hospital, but no word has been released as to the extent of their injuries.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NBC's Today Airs 'Huffing' Investigation

This morning the Today Show (a popular news program on NBC) aired a special investigative report profiling the deadly trend of 'huffing' among our nation's teens and tweens. The segment, which featured footage shot by hidden camera, followed two young boys as they visited various stores and attempted to purchase commonly abused products; such as paint thinner and computer duster. The segment also featured an in-depth interview with ACE Board of Trustee member Jeff Williams and his wife Kathy; who lost their son Kyle to inhalant abuse four years ago. The complete broadcast can be viewed below or by clicking here.


Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trespasser Found Inhaling Fumes

From PublicOpinionOnline.com in Pennsylvania

Police were called to a local residence after receiving reports that an unwanted person was trespassing on the property. When officers arrived on the scene they discovered the alleged trespasser “inhaling fumes from a can of dust remover.” The trespasser was identified as a 23-year-old male of “no fixed address.” Officers arrested the suspect and charged him with the illegal use of inhalants.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Death By Duster

From The Sioux City Journal in Iowa

A mother who lost her 27-year-old son to inhalants earlier this year is speaking out and sharing her heartbreaking story with the community of Sioux City, with the hope of raising awareness about inhalant abuse.

The body of 27-year-old Daniel Boone was discovered in a wooded area on September 15, 2009 near his mother’s residence. Sioux City Police have attributed Boone’s death to ‘ingestion of a toxic amount of inhalant.’

Boone was exposed to inhalants while working in California where his mother says he began “huffing nitrous oxide from cartridges.” Upon returning home to Sioux City he told his family about his addiction and agreed to stop immediately. “However, in the months before his death Boone’s family said he exhibited symptoms of memory loss, chemical odor, nervousness, and bursts of anger” -classic indicators of continued inhalant abuse. Boone also suffered numerous chemical burns to his skin from huffing computer duster, and when his mother began inquiring about the suspicious injuries, he often blamed work-related incidents.

Just two months after losing her son, Daniel Boone’s mother is warning others of the dangers associated with inhalant abuse -urging all parents to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms.

In Sioux County, Iowa it is a misdemeanor to ingest, be under the influence, or distribute inhalants without authorization, and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

Unconsious Driver Holds Up Drive-Thru

From The Washington Observer-Reporter in Pennsylvania

A 31-year-old woman was arrested last week and charged with the illegal use of certain solvents and driving under the influence of a solvent. Police reportedly discovered the woman passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle while sitting in the drive-thru lane of a local McDonalds. She is being held in Washington County Jail on $2,500 bond.

Friday, November 13, 2009

California Healthy Kids Survey Statistics

From The Manteca Bulletin in California

Middle school and High School Students in Ripon County, California are annually adminstered the California Healthy Kids Survey; a self-report assessment targeting risky health behaviors. The state-wide survey specifically addresses issues related to drug and substance use, violence, crime, as well as physical and mental health. The Ripon Unified School District has released the following inhalant use statistics: among 7th graders 5% of the student population admitted to using inhalants in their lifetime, as did 5% of all 9th graders surveyed. Interestingly, 13% of all 11th graders surveyed reported past inhalant use, with 72% using alcohol, and 39% using marijuana.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teen Crashes Into House

From WFIE News in Kentucky

Police suspect that the 17-year-old driver who lost control of her car and crashed into a house yesterday in a Daviess County, Kentucky subdivision was abusing inhalants. The driver and her 16-year-old passenger were taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Police have charged the teen with driving while under the influence and speeding. Additional charges are expected to be filed following a full police investigation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Inhalant Data from Oregon

From the McMinnville News-Register in Oregon:

The Dayton Together Coalition for a Drug-free Community recently released inhalant related data:

“Current statistics show that by 13 years of age, 14 percent of youths have sniffed inhalants”

Thieves Target Dental Offices

From ABC 4 News in Salt Lake City, Utah

Police are investigating a string of unusual burglaries in Salt Lake City. According to news reports five dental offices have been robbed in the area over the past few weeks, with thieves stealing canisters of nitrous oxide, (also known as ‘laughing gas’) painkillers, and other miscellaneous drugs. Police are on the lookout for at least two men they believe have a small cache of drugs and nitrous and are urging residents to keep their eyes peeled for large canisters of gas. Police continue to investigate.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Remember Jacob's Smile...

My name is Gail and I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be writing this story. No parent ever wants to write about their child's death. I pray every day that no other parent ever has to write a story about the death of their- child.

On May 18,2008 the Henry family celebrated the graduation of their son, Jacob Albert Henry, age 18. We had a big party at our home with all the aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Aunt Linda made dishes from the Philippines and other American food was provided. A good friend of Aunt Carol's made the cakes. Everything was delicious. There was fun for everyone.
Jacob was grateful for the gifts of money he received. The money was needed for expenses when he went to college in June 2008.
Jacob made friends easily. His grandma always said that Jacob never met a stranger. He was kind to everyone and loved family, friends, our dogs (Dusty, Xerox, Jazz) football, video games, music (Saxophones), Civil War History and Indian Lore. Jacob moved to Evansville at the end of May to live with his Grandma. He planned to attend college at Madison Media Institute (MMI) in Madison, Wisconsin. I never saw Jacob as excited as he was about starting school at MMI. He started classes at MMI on June 2, 2008. He enjoyed school and was well liked by his classmates, the staff and teachers. Jacob made many good friends during his short time at MMI. He really enjoyed his classes.

I received phone calls most everyday telling me what he had done in his classes that day. The phone call I remember the most is the day he called and was so excited he almost reached through the telephone wires. In one of his classes, Jacob had the opportunity to play a vintage bass saxophone brought in by Mr. Hanah, his instructor. Jacob loved his saxophones. He had played all the different saxophones in high school, except the Bass. Playing that Bass Sax was a dream come true for him. After Jacob's death I talked to his high school band teacher. She told me that Jacob had asked her many times if the school could get a Bass Sax. She told him no because that they were very expensive and there wouldn't be a Bass Sax at school. Jacob told me that he played the Bass and he was so nervous he was hardly able to play. He talked for a long time about how he was chosen to play the Bass. He also told me the Bass Sax he played was only one of ten in the U.S.A. That moment was very special to him.

He was having trouble with some of his classes so he was signed up to work with a tutor. He went to his first class and that afternoon he called me like most days and told me that the things he was having trouble with were clear to him now. He was excited about going back the following week but he never returned to that tutoring class. We were in the process of moving from Northern Wisconsin, where Jacob grew up, to Evansville, Wisconsin. We would be closer to Jacob and we planned to bring some more things down that weekend. Jacob's dad worked in Illinois so he just drove up to Evansville that Friday night. I would travel down from our home on Saturday.

When my husband arrived at the house on Friday night, Jacob wasn't home which wasn't too shocking because he spent a lot of time at the pool with his friends. Jacob never came home Friday night. We were all worried and shocked at the same time. It wasn't like Jacob not to call whenever he was gone for a long time he would call. I called his cell phone many times on Saturday without an answer. I didn't know it was sitting on his nightstand. That was strange because that phone seemed to be attached to some part of his body all the time. I arrived at mom's around noon on Saturday and Jacob was still not home.

We really started to worry because this wasn't right. He always called when he wasn't coming home to let us know where he was and when he would be home. We drove around looking in the park and around town asking kids if they had seen him and when. We even drove out of town thinking he may have gone someplace with someone that had a car. We spent lots of time calling the numbers on his cell phone thinking maybe one of them would know where he was.

On Saturday afternoon around 3 pm we called the Evansville Police Department. The officer came to the house and we filled out a missing persons report. The officer asked us questions and looked in his room. My husband told the officer that when he arrived on Friday evening Jacob's X-Box was on "Pause". To us that meant that someone had knocked on the door to drag him away from playing his game. When he was playing the video games nothing could drag him away from them. The Officer later returned with a copy of the report that went out to other police departments. Waiting for any news was a torture I never want to go through again.
We were talking about where he could be. My mom said something about the neighbor's sunroom door being unlocked. Jacob told her about it earlier that week because he had accidentally opened it. I thought what the heck I might as well check it out so I walked out of our sunroom door over to the neighbors who had recently moved. I opened the door and looked inside hoping that maybe Jacob had gone in and fell asleep. I didn't see anything.

I turned to walk back and met my husband coming out of the door. We saw Jacob at the same time. He was lying by the air conditioner behind my mom's apartment. We both yelled his name and ran over to him. My husband got there first and shook him. He turned to me and said," He is dead, go call the police". Jacob had a black plastic bag over his head. My husband ripped it open and walked away. I went to tell my mom that Jacob was dead and called 911. I told the police that I had filled out a missing persons report on him earlier and that we had found him dead outside my mom's apartment. When I saw him lying with that black plastic bag over his head my thought was that he had killed himself but I couldn't believe that he would do that. However I had heard earlier from his cousin that he was having some problems with some kids teasing him. It was really bothering him.

The police came to the house and started an investigation that would shock all of us in many ways. The officer told me something that I never thought I would hear about our son. The police officer told us that they thought Jacob was "huffing refrigerant". I had never heard of such a thing. I looked at the officer and told him straight out that someone have had to shown him how to do that because there was no way he would thought of that on his own. It had been a problem around Evansville. The officer knew there had been 3 different kids sent to the hospital because of the huffing of refrigerant. He told us that it does one of three things:
It will get you high as intended
It will freeze your lungs and send you to the hospital
It will KILL you


At that time the Rock County Detective came into the house and talked to the family including my brother and his wife. They asked us questions about Jacob such as what kind of a kid was he? When we last saw him? What time we last talked to him? I made it clear during that questioning that someone had to have shown him how to do that because " There is NO way" that he would have thought of that himself. They told us that they thought Jacob had laid there since sometime Friday.

On Sunday we received a phone call from a friend of Jacob's. She told me the names of two boys that she said had shown him this deadly high. I immediately called the Rock County Detective and informed him of this new development. They had to look for the boys but finally found them and talked to them. The two boys admitted that they did in fact show Jacob how to huff refrigerant. When the detective told me this I was shocked to think that someone would show others how to do something that could possibly kill them. The most shocking thing is that the detective told us that there was nothing they could do to the boys because they denied they were with him that day. We found out a few days later that one of the boys was caught showing a 13 year old girl how to huff refrigerant. These two boys are out showing other peoples children how to do this deadly thing and nothing is being done about it by our law enforcement.

Since Law enforcement isn't able or willing to protect our children, we as parents have to be their guardians. Please talk to your children; make sure they know just what refrigerant can do to them. Huffing anything can KILL you. Our family still doesn't believe that Jacob was alone that day. I will close this with something that a dear friend said at Jacob's funeral. This touched me so much because it was truly Jacob as you can see in his picture.

"Remember Jacob's Smile And Carry It With You In Your Heart".

New Inhalant Data from Tennessee

From the Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee:

The results of the 2008 Knox County Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey were recently released. The survey, given for the first time to more than 1,000 students in 14 schools, measured behaviors in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

The survey revealed that 8.6% of the students had abused inhalants.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Aerosol Arrest

From The Palm Beach Post in Florida

Police arrested a 28-year-old woman earlier this week on charges of “chemical substance possession” after she was caught with two newly purchased cans of aerosol. The woman apparently had a “history of using inhalants to get high” and an extensive criminal record. Police were sent to a local store, where the manager presented officers with a receipt of the woman’s purchases- two cans of aerosol. When questioned by police, the woman admitted to buying the aerosol with the intent to get high. Officers confiscated both cans and issued the woman a subpoena to appear in court.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unconscious Driver Causes Crash

From The Bellingham Herald in Washington

A 20-year-old female has been summoned to appear in court after she caused a three car crash on the night of October 29th. The young woman was allegedly ‘huffing’ computer duster prior to the crash with two female passengers, when she lost consciousness and crossed into oncoming lanes of traffic, striking a pick up truck head on and rear-ending a minivan. Police have cited the 20-year-old on “suspicion of vehicular assault.” No life threatening injuries were reported, but one of the passengers was “ejected from the car, suffered bruising, a 5- to 8-inch gash on her neck, a broken bone and internal injuries.”

Upon further investigation, police have learned that the three females did in fact purchase a can of computer dust remover from a local store prior to the crash- which they ‘huffed’ in a nearby parking lot. One of the female passengers told police she tried to take the can away from the 20-year-old driver; even grabbing the steering wheel in an attempt to navigate through traffic after her friend passed out behind the wheel- “but didn't remember crashing.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'Huffer' Will Face Prosecution

From The Intelligencer Online in Pennslyvania

A 26-year-old Pennsylvania man will appear before Bucks County Court later this month on charges of DUI, assault, and fleeing police. Daniel Killion is accused of leading police on a vehicle chase, assaulting a relative, and huffing from a can of computer duster.

According to court documents, “the chase occurred after a female relative of Killion’s caught him huffing computer duster” and called police. “Killion then attacked the woman- who sustained an arm injury,” and fled the scene hoping to get away from police.

A vehicle chase ensued with Killion reportedly swerving in and out of traffic at high speeds. At one point he pulled over and stopped at a local business, only to jump back in his vehicle and speed away, nearly striking several officers. Killion eventually returned to his residence where he surrendered to authorities.

Man Arrested For Selling Whippets

From ABC 13 News in Ohio

Police have arrested the owner of a Bowling Green business for selling drug paraphernalia and trafficking in harmful intoxicants. Last weekend several officers raided the business and seized drug paraphernalia along with a supply of nitrous oxide whippets and “crackers”- which are specially designed to open canisters of nitrous oxide.

When questioned by the police, the owner stated that the alleged “whippets” were merely “whipped cream chargers used for baking.” However, several confidential informants were recruited by local police to “go in to the store, purchase items, and speak with the employees about specific merchandise” and their intended use. Informants told police the owner was well aware he was selling items that promoted drug use. The store’s owner is facing three felony charges and up to 18 months in jail for drug trafficking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teen Driver Arrested For OWI

From WEAU News in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

A 19-year-old male was involved in a single car collision early Sunday morning. According to police records, the teen was driving down a local street at around 1:40 a.m. when he crossed oncoming lanes of traffic and crashed into a nearby retaining wall. Police recovered a can of partially full computer keyboard dusting spray from the teen’s vehicle. Authorities are attributing the accident to ‘huffing.’ The driver was transported to a local hospital for head injuries and has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated – OWI.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Teen Jailed For Assault and 'Huffing'

From The Wilkes Barre Times-Leader in Pennsylvania

An 18-year-old male was arrested on Thursday for allegedly assaulting his mother and younger brother after ‘huffing’ gasoline. The teen has been charged “with two counts of simple assault and harassment, and a single count of illegal use of certain solvents and noxious substances.” He is currently being detained in the county jail.

The teen’s mother told police her son had been inhaling gasoline for much of the day when he assaulted his younger brother and shoved her up against a wall inside their home late last week. The teen is set to appear in court later this week.

Police Investigate Whether 'Dusting' Led To Fatal Crash

From Southwest Virginia Today in Richlands, Virginia

Police in Wythe County, Virginia are investigating whether “dusting – inhaling cans of compressed gas to get high” is to blame for last weekend’s fatal car crash that left two sisters dead.
Last weekend a vehicle driven by 19-year-old Ashley Paynter crossed the median and struck a pick-up truck killing both women inside, 53-year-old Judy Camper, and 49-year-old April McAllister. After obtaining a warrant to search Paynter’s vehicle, police seized a can of computer dust remover and a straw covered in white powder. Police are now looking into whether Paynter and her 21-year-old passenger Linda Reeves were ‘huffing’ prior to Sunday’s fatal accident.

Wal-mart security tapes reveal Reeves “concealing two cans of propellant [from store cameras] half an hour before the collision took place.” According to court documents, Paynter had been banned from the same Wal-mart earlier in the year after she was caught shoplifting.

Paynter was last listed to be in fair condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Her passenger Linda Reeves was treated and released Sunday evening. More details are expected to be released shortly. Visit WSLS News 10 to view a televised report of the incident.

Inhalants Suspected in Security Guard Death

From the Livonia Observer in Michigan

Last week a 22 year-old man was found dead. Inhalant abuse is suspected but won’t be confirmed until the medical examiner’s report is completed in about 2 weeks.

The man’s girlfriend called police after he didn’t return home after his shift as a security guard. She drove to the building, found his car still in the office parking lot but she couldn’t locate him.

Police then entered the building and found the man lying on the floor face down next to a can of computer dusting spray. “A security video showed that he had walked into that area alone, crouched down in the cubicle area and never stood up.”

Horses to Help with Inhalant Addiction

From Sarnia Observer in Sarnia, ON, Canada

Very interesting piece about a 45 year-old mother of two who changed careers in order to help troubled children. She and a friend became certified equine assisted facilitators and started Lambton Equine Assisted Learning, where they run childrens’ therapy camps.

Through their program they work with children “brought to them by parents or through referrals from various social service agencies.” Interestingly, the article notes “In West Lorne, a large number of the kids attend an inhalant addiction centre outside London and have arrived from remote communities in the north.”

More information on the program can be found here

Friday, October 30, 2009

Man Found Inhaling Chemicals

From the Daily Record in New Jersey

A 48-year-old male was arrested earlier this week after police found him ‘huffing’ toxic chemicals behind a community shopping center. Officers arrived to the scene after receiving several calls about an “intoxicated man” loitering around the premise. Reports reveal that the suspect had been inhaling chemicals and “was in possession of a narcotic analgesic.” Upon further investigation, officers learned that the suspect had two warrants out for his arrest in two nearby counties and placed him in police custody immediately.

Inhalant Data From Massachusetts

From the MetroWest Daily in Framingham, Massachusetts:

The results of the second Ashland Adolescent Health Survey were recently revealed. At the middle school, 8 percent had abused inhalants.

Police Find Homeless Man 'Huffing' Gas

From the Tri-County Times in Michigan

Last week Michigan State Police received complainants from a male property owner who claimed “a homeless man had been living on his land since July.” When police arrived to the scene, they found a 25-year-old homeless male “inhaling gasoline fumes from a container next to a makeshift tent” in a heavily wooded area. The homeless man told officers he had been living in the woods since July, after being involved in a car accident. According to reports, the homeless man had not bathed since July and appeared to have infected open wounds on his head. Police transported him to a local hospital for medical assessment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Woman Jailed For 'Huffing'

From KOTA-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota

A 31-year-old Rapid City woman who was arrested last April for “huffing computer duster near her children in a car with the windows closed” will serve six months in jail in addition to two years probation. Witnesses told police they saw the suspect “huffing in her vehicle and pointing the can toward one of the kid's faces.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inhalant Data from Oregon

From the Sherwood Gazette in Oregon

Sherwood School District counselors recently released findings from the 2008-09 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey:

  • 2.2% of the students said they had used inhalants

More information on the survey and all the results can be found at dhs.state.or.us/dhs/ph/chs/youthsurvey/ohtdata

Inhalant Data for North Dakota

From the Dickinson Press in North Dakota

Interesting inhalant-related stats:

  • 19.6% of those surveyed use inhalants at least once in his or her lifetime, as compared to a state average of 11.1%
  • In a 30-day use period, 8% of those surveyed use inhalants, with the state average sitting at 3.5%

Mother 'Huffs' In Front Of Baby

From The Herald-Citizen in Tennessee

The 27-year-old mother who was caught ‘huffing’ computer duster in a Cookeville Wal-mart parking lot last Friday, has been charged with child abuse/neglect, DUI, and inhaling a toxic substance. According to police reports, officers found the woman unconscious behind the wheel of a running car- clutching a can of dust remover with a 16-month-old child in the back seat.

Police were notified of the incident early Friday afternoon after receiving complaints of a “lady in the parking lot sitting in a vehicle with the engine running, snorting a can of dust remover.” When officers arrived they found the suspect slumped over and unresponsive to the cries of her young son. According to reports the suspect awoke abruptly, took two more ‘huffs’ of the duster, and began trying to release the car’s brake to drive away. The suspect displayed visible signs of impairment via her red watery eyes, slurred speech, and delayed motor movements.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital for examination before being placed into police custody. She will appear in court November 2nd. The 16-month-old baby sustained no injuries from the incident and has since been turned over to the care of responsible family members by the Department of Children’s Services.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Man Violates Probation

From HomeTownLife.com in Michigan

A 20-year-old male was ticketed for “suspicion of inhaling chemical agents” last week in suburban Detroit when officers found the suspect “slouched over on a bench” and visibly inebriated outside of a local furniture store. The suspect was reportedly on probation at the time of the incident.

Upon further questioning, officers spotted a can of dust remover that was half empty inside the suspect’s unzipped black jacket. “The suspect was also carrying an inhaler in his jacket, which he later told police he used to control his asthma.” The 20-year-old was ticketed for violating the terms of his probation and is expected to appear in district court next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Defense Claims 'Huffing' Led to Murder

From The Record Searchlight in Redding, California

A California jury has yet to reach a verdict in the murder trial of 28-year-old Scott Varner, who has admitted to kidnapping and killing a 35-year-old woman nearly four years ago. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Varner, who plead guilty to the November 2005 murder of Jeanette Mariedth reportedly “suffers from severe brain damage as a result of his past drug use,” according to defense attorneys. The defense claims that the plaintiff did “not intend to kill” the victim- citing a long history of inhalant abuse as the culprit behind their client’s impaired mental functioning and irrational behavior. Varner began ‘huffing’ inhalants when he was just 12 years old. Jurors have yet to reach a conclusion as to the validity of the defense’s claims.

Inhalant Data from Massachusetts

From the Norton Mirror in Raynham, Massachusetts

Inhalant related data from a survey administered to Norton middle and high school students in June, 2009:

  • 5.2 percent of the middle school students report having used an inhalant in the past 30 days

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Driver Arrested For Sniffing Duster

From The Hingham Journal in Massachusetts

On October 7th Police were dispatched to a local intersection after receiving reports that a man was passed out in a vehicle alongside the road. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found a 29-year-old male extremely disoriented and clutching a can of dust remover. Officers were able to coax the man into an ambulance.

The 29-year-old reportedly admitted to “sniffing from the can” and was exhibiting common symptoms related to excessive inhalant use. The man was arrested for “operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, operating a vehicle to endanger, and operating a vehicle with an open bottle of alcohol in the car.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shoplifting Teens Apprehended

From The Free Lance Star in Fredricksburg, VA

Two teens were arrested on Tuesday after they were caught stealing several cans of computer duster from a local Wal-Mart. Both men are facing felony charges in connection to the incident. According to reports, two off-duty police officers were shopping in the store and witnessed a young male run out carrying stolen cans of computer duster and other miscellaneous goods- “dropping items everywhere.” Officers yelled to the suspect to stop but their orders were ignored. The suspect jumped into a car driven by another young man and fled the scene.

Officers quickly caught up to the suspects at a nearby intersection. However, when a deputy approached the teens “the teen driver turned his wheels and moved toward the officer, forcing her to jump out of the way.” The suspects were eventually apprehended by police at the intersection and were taken to Rappahannock Regional Jail. Four cans of computer duster were found in the suspects’ car.

'Huffer' Heads To Prison

From Tyler Morning Telegraph in Texas

On Wednesday, a Tyler County jury found 23-year-old, Jamie Guerrero guilty of “aggravated assault on a public servant;” sentencing him to 35 years in prison with a mandatory 17 year confinement without parole. Guerrero was facing a life sentence in connection to an incident last January that involved him threatening a police officer with a knife and resisting arrest.

Police arrived at Guerrero’s residence upon receiving a complaint from the suspect’s mother. Officers discovered Guerrero in the back yard “sniffing spray paint, talking incoherently, and making loud noises while breathing from a plastic bag containing a rag coated in spray paint.” When Guerrero saw the approaching officers, he fled the scene and “ran through a heavily wooded area toward a creek;” before falling along an embankment- clearly high from ‘huffing.’

One officer noticed the suspect was holding a knife and asked him to drop it immediately. Guerrero refused and instead verbally threatened the officer, asserting that he would use the weapon and “scar [the officer] for life.” After several failed attempts to restrain the suspect, officers used a Taser stun gun to subdue him- and were able to take Guerrero into custody.

In court, Guerrero pled not guilty to assaulting a police officer even though audio tapes of the altercation revealed otherwise. It took the jury only45 minutes to deliberate and deliver a ‘guilty’ verdict earlier this week.

It is safe to say that Guerrero’s altered state of mind, was clearly a result of ‘huffing’ spray paint, and contributed greatly to his erratic behavior and violent reactions displayed toward police last January. It is not yet known if the suspect will be required to undergo a drug rehabilitation program while in jail.

Father 'Huffs' Duster While Watching Son

From The West Des Moines Register in Iowa

Earlier this week, police officers in West Des Moines arrested a 42-year-man on child endangerment charges after he was discovered huffing computer duster while supervising his 7-year-old son. Additional details have yet to be released to the public.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Woman Caught Inhaling Aerosol

From The Palm Beach Post in Florida

A Florida woman will be arraigned in court later this month after officers found her "incoherent and sitting in the grass" alongside a busy street in Palm Beach. According to police reports, the woman was inhaling aerosol from a can to get high, and had another can of the substance in her purse. She was transported to a local hospital by police.

Teens Crash Into Building

From Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune in Wisconsin

Three males were transported to a local hospital Monday evening after a car they were in crashed through a gate and struck a Wisconsin Rapids building that was under construction. The driver of the car, 17-year-old Devin Adkins told police he passed out prior to the crash and was “under the influence of a controlled substance.” Officers found aerosol cans in the vehicle.

Two passengers, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old were also involved in the crash. They later told police “Adkins' foot was on the accelerator when he lost consciousness.” As of Wednesday, the 15-year-old passenger remained in critical condition.

Adkins was arrested at the scene and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a substance and causing bodily injury. Adkins’ bond was set at $10,000 with the condition that he would maintain absolute sobriety and wear an electronic monitoring device until his trial.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Governor Bans the Sale of 'Whippets' to Minors

From The Oakland Tribune in California

California’s Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a state-wide bill tightening the sale and distribution of nitrous oxide ‘whippets’ to minors. Under Assembly Bill 1015, submitted by Bay Area Congressman Tom Torkalson, young children and teens “will find it much more difficult to purchase ‘whippets’ intended for home use in whipped cream bottles.” Schwarzenegger’s approval of the legislation now makes it a crime to sell nitrous oxide ‘whippets’ to anyone under the age of 18. Of the 705 bills presented, a total of 478 were signed by the governor.

Party Mom To Face Manslaughter Charges

From FirstCoastNews.com in St. Johns County, Florida

A Florida mom who has been accused of hosting several house parties where teens allegedly drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, and inhaled nitrous oxide appeared in court last week. 51-year-old, Diane Santarelli, “was indicted on two counts of manslaughter and four misdemeanors after two intoxicated teens left a party she was supervising and died in a car accident” last January. The manslaughter charges are second degree felonies, each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On January 12, 2009, 18-year-old Jessy Pitts and his 17-year-old passenger Taylor Brennan were killed when Pitts crashed his car into a guardrail while on the way home from a party hosted by Santarelli.

According to court documents Santarelli provided minors with alcohol, marijuana, and nitrous oxide ‘whippets’ over the course of several parties held in her home between September 2008 to January 2009.

Santarelli’s attorney argues that while his client illegally provided drugs and alcohol to minors, she is ultimately not responsible for the deaths of Pitts and Brennan, as both teens willingly got behind the wheel of a car despite being intoxicated. However, the prosecution attests that by directly contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Santarelli is to blame for the fatal crash.

The presiding judge made no motion to dismiss the felony charges last week, despite pleas from Santarelli’s attorney. The case will reconvene in court on December 1st.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Computer Duster Implicated in Crash

From The Livingston Daily in Michigan

Police in Livingston County are investigating whether inhalants played a role in an early morning car crash that sent two people to the hospital. The driver, a local 18-year old, reportedly passed out behind the wheel of his 1998 Buick at around 9:30 a.m. this morning; “crossing over two lanes of traffic and hitting five cars.” This is the driver’s second such crash in just two weeks.

The unconscious teen “struck two parked cars at the Krug Ford Lincoln & Mercury dealership; subsequently causing the two parked vehicles to ram into three additional parked vehicles” on impact. Emergency workers transported the driver and his 19-year-old passenger to a nearby hospital for treatment. No serious injuries were reported.

According to Sherriff Bob Bezotte, the 18-year-old driver is currently “being tested for chemical use as a result of huffing.” It is believed that the two men purchased a can of computer duster cleaner from a local Wal-Mart prior to the crash, as officers discovered an open can of duster in at the scene.

Monday, October 12, 2009

'Huffing' Update From Des Moines

From DesMoinesRegister.com in Iowa

Last week four West Des Moines teens were suspended after allegedly inhaling compressed gas. The article references ACE’s offer to provide both the police and school officials in that community free inhalant prevention kits for inclusion in the district's twice-yearly drug-education program.

The article also mentions a 1986 case where a 16 year-old high school student “collapsed and died in a darkroom from the intentional inhalation of a spray used to clean photographic negatives.”

Please help us get information out to even more communities around the country:
1. Visit our website http://www.inhalant.org/ to learn more about the issue.
2. Also visit our inhalant message board and read some of the many daily posts.
3. Download a copy of your own electronic version of the free inhalant abuse prevention kit here.

Inhalant Abuse in South Africa: New Data

From The Witness in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

South Africa’s Health Promotion Research and Developmental Unit of the Medical Research Council recently outlined highlights of their study, the full results of which will be available next February. Some interesting inhalant data:

  • 17.8 percent of teens in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) admit to using inhalants
  • Nationally, 11.1 percent of teens admit to using inhalants.

Huffer Shuts Down Tulsa Wal-Mart

From KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Around 3 am this morning, police were summoned on reports of a suspicious man 'huffing' in a Wal-Mart bathroom.

When police arrived to the scene they found the man in the stall with a gun on his lap. Officers called for back-up and shut down the Wal-Mart. The man continued to 'huff' the contents of a computer duster can as police attempted to coax him out- even continuing to 'huff' after laying down his weapon.

The man finally surrendered after pepper balls were fired into the rest room. His gun turned out to be an air pistol. He is “being held on a public intoxication complaint.”

Friday, October 9, 2009

Man Caught Driving 'Under the Influence' of Computer Duster

From The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota

Yesterday a 24-year-old male was arrested after he was caught driving under the influence of inhalants- his third related offense. He is being charged on three felony counts of driving under the influence, vehicular battery and fleeing the scene of an accident. The driver reportedly passed out behind the wheel of a Ford Taurus after ‘huffing’ computer duster; hitting two vehicles before crashing into a tree.

Witnesses told police they saw the suspect “rear-end a postal delivery truck” and “hit a parked car” near an elementary school Thursday morning. “Accident investigators estimate the vehicle was traveling down the street at a speed of 30-35 mph. No life-threatening injuries were reported, but the suspect’s mother, who was riding in the vehicle at the time of the accident, was taken to a nearby hospital for a broken leg.

Witnesses also reported “watching the suspect conceal something in the car’s trunk” before he fled the scene. Police quickly arrested the suspect within a few blocks of the accident, and found two cans of computer duster in the trunk. The suspect is expected to face additional criminal charges.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Huffing' Teen Hits Power Pole

From The Dickinson Press in North Dakota

An 18-year-old Dickinson woman was reportedly ‘huffing’ when she slammed her car into a light pole Tuesday, causing a city-wide power outage. The teen is being charged “with not wearing a seat belt, reckless driving, and the inhalation of vapors and volatile chemicals” in connection to the accident. She told police she had blacked out behind the wheel while ingesting the contents of an unspecified substance.

The teen was the only individual involved in the crash, and is currently receiving medical care at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck- as of Wednesday night. According to police, emergency crews had to “use the Jaws of Life” to remove the teen from her totaled vehicle.

While the impact was not enough to knock the light pole over, it did elicit significant damage, prompting a 30 minute power outage across 5,100 businesses and homes in the area.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

'Huffer' Throws Propane Tank Off Building

From KJRH.com in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Police have arrested a man they believe was high from “huffing intoxicants” when two officers witnessed him throw a propane gas tank off the top of a midtown Tulsa building early last week. The suspect is expected to be charged with arson in connection to a fire he ignited with chemicals while loitering on the roof. Area firefighters were called to the scene and quickly extinguished the flames. A ladder truck was needed to secure the suspect into police custody. Authorities are still investigating the incident.

Nitrous Oxide Triggers Fatal Fall

From The Lansing Journal in Michigan

According to East Lansing police, a 25-year-old man is dead after he fell and hit his head while inhaling nitrous oxide in his apartment Saturday night. Witnesses disclosed to authorities that the victim, identified as William Andrew Briton of Ortonville, was consuming large quantities of alcohol and ‘huffing’ nitrous oxide up until his fatal fall- “falling forward and striking his head while inhaling nitrous.”

Rescue workers were unable to resuscitate Briton at the scene. County medical examiners conducted an autopsy yesterday to determine Briton’s exact cause of death. Additional details will be released as they become available.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

His Death Was Not From Drowning- It Was From 'Huffing'

From the Pocono Record in Pennsylvania

The Lehigh County Coroner's Office reports that the 29 year old man found floating in a shallow creek in April did not die from drowning- but from huffing. Toxicology tests (which can can take anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks to complete) came back positive for difluoroethane, a chemical commonly found in computer duster. The death was ruled as an accident-caused by complications from huffing.

Sadly, just yesterday we posted a story from this same paper about four 17-year old teens who were injured when their car veered off the road. The driver had been huffing 'aerosol.' If anyone in Northeastern Pennsylvania is reading this blog and has ideas on how ACE can help get free educational resources to groups within your community– please contact us. Send an e-mail to info@consumered.org!

Huffer Caught and Jailed Once Again

From the Wheeling Intelligencer in West Virginia

A 45 year old man is behind bars once again after being caught huffing gold spray paint. Last Monday, police responded to a call at around 6 am for man covered in gold paint at a 7-Eleven store. The man was arrested and charged with “breathing intoxicating compounds.”

The article notes that the man has been arrested locally at least five times for huffing spray paint. While his 2005 mugshot was the one most will remember, there have been many more incidents since then. On August 29th he was found inhaling spray paint in an industrial park. On March 24th this year he was found walking along a highway with this lower face and hands covered in spray paint. In 2008 he was arrested after police found him staggering through town. In 2006 he was found covered in paint, just one week after having been arrested for huffing under the Interstate bridge.