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