Synthetic marijuana ‘spice’ blamed for attack on elderly California couple


synthetic marijuana 6 25 2012

A man holds a Bible with leaves pasted on the cover simulating a marijuana plant during a demo for its legalization in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 19, 2012. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Synthetic marijuana known as “spice” has been blamed on an attack on an elderly California couple.

Matthew See, 23, was being held in jail overnight in lieu of $50,000 bail, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police said See had smoked spice Saturday morning before he was seen standing outside the couple’s Costa Mesa apartment and speaking gibberish.

He then allegedly stole the 70-year-old man’s sunglasses before shoving him to the ground and forcing his way into the apartment, where he assaulted the man’s 69-year-old wife.

Synthetic marijuana was also blamed for an attack earlier this month in Jupiter, in which the smoker threatened to rape his sister.

According to CBS News, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic battery call on June 13 and on arrival, were told by the 36-year-old woman that her brother, Scotty Dean Ruthardt, grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth, dragging her into his bedroom. He told her he was going to rape her.

Ruthardt, 44, who was arrested over the incident, had also been arrested in February for assaulting a police officer, firefighter or EMT.

Synthetic marijuana has become popular among illicit drug users as it contains synthetic cannabinoids that do not show up on toxicology screens.

More from GlobalPost: Poland battles synthetic pot boom

A form of synthetic marijuana called K2 was last year blamed for causing heart attacks in three teenage boys.

According to a separate LA Times article, the Texas teens, all 16, were otherwise healthy and had no signs of cardiovascular disease.

Each reported chest pain shortly after smoking K2 but recovered after treatment.

In Sunday’s incident, See had warned the elderly couple not to call 911 but upon leaving the apartment remained in the area, enabling the victims to point him out to police.

He was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of robbery, burglary, attempted sexual assault, false imprisonment and public intoxication.

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