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Cops: Duluth man on bath salts had feces in his mouth

DULUTH -- A Duluth man arrested Tuesday after a bath salts-fueled rampage had feces in his mouth and threatened to stab family members, police said.

Gwinnett County police were called to a home on the 2100 block of Worrall Hill Drive at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. The mother of 21-year-old Matthew Hammond told the 911 dispatcher that her son was acting strange and brandishing a knife, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

When an officer arrived, Hammond was in the road and began charging the patrol car. The officer "floored it" and turned around in a cul-de-sac, but Hammond ran alongside the car while beating on windows and attempting to open the passenger side door, Smith said.

Hammond -- who later admitted to drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and snorting "a lot" of bath salts -- reportedly challenged the policeman to fight him. Eventually, the officer exited his car and was able to order Hammond to the ground at gunpoint. He had dropped the knife mentioned in his mother's 911 call prior to authorities arriving at the scene, Smith said.

While being transported to jail, Hammond was allegedly ranting "incoherently" and quoting a commercial for hot sauce, saying "I put that (expletive) on everything."

It was shortly thereafter that the arresting officer noticed the man's breath.

Hammond had a "strong odor of excrement emitting from his breath," the officer reported.

Hammond has been charged with felony obstruction of a police officer and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He was refused during his original trip to the Gwinnett County jail "because of his condition," but returned after several hours at a hospital.

It was there he told authorities that he had snorted "crazy salts" and that he had been wielding a knife because people were making fun of him, Smith said.

Jail records show Hammond is being held without bond.

Tuesday's incident was Gwinnett's second involving bath salts in recent weeks. On June 14, 21-year-old Karl Laventure was arrested after allegedly running, mostly naked, around the Atlanta Golf Center driving range on Beaver Ruin Road.

Laventure was tasered and pepper sprayed multiple times, finally being brought under control and detained. He told police he believed he smoked marijuana laced with bath salts, a synthetic drug gaining in popularity.

The drug, which can be ingested in a number of ways, typically results in four to five hours of "euphoria" before ending in six to eight more hours of a "bad high," Smith said. That period of time can produce symptoms like extreme paranoia, violent behavior, increased agitation and hyper-alertness.

Bath salts made headlines in May, when initial reports held that a Miami man ate the face of his homeless victim while under the drug's influence. It's since been determined that the man, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, did not ingest bath salts.