Authorities suspect a Sullivan man was under the influence of drugs during the burglary of a bar Saturday, Nov. 4.
Thomas J. Evans, 35, was charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with felonies of second-degree burglary and first-degree property damage, and misdemeanor stealing. Prosecutors requested a $30,000 cash-only bond.
According to the probable cause statement filed by Sullivan police, Evans can be seen on surveillance footage inside the Jeckyll & Hyde Sports Bar and Night Club Nov. 4.
Authorities allege Evans took off all of his clothing and was in the building for over an hour.
Police said Evans was swinging a pool cue and damaged a large flatscreen television. He also attempted to break a lock off of the walk-in beer cooler, causing significant damage to the handle.
Evans allegedly drank alcohol while in the building and broke a window to enter the bar.
Police had reported the Evans’ burglary and other similar incidents of people removing clothing and acting strangely.
It was reported that Evans, and others, may have been on “flakka” similar to the stimulants found in “bath salts.” Bath salts contain a “very powerful stimulant” which causes severe medical side effects when used.
Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said his department has not encountered any flakka, but there have been about six cases in the past six months of 4-methyl-pyrrolidinopropiophenone, or 4-MEPPP.
“It makes people do some crazy, bizarre stuff,” he said.
Pelton added that oftentimes 4-MEPPP users become very warm from the drug and strip off their clothing.
He explained that there may have been other cases of 4-MEPPP that have not been reported.
Several years ago many municipalities passed ordinances that ban the sale of synthetic drugs, including bath salts. The ordinances were expansions to those making it illegal to sell or possess synthetic marijuana, marketed under various names like K2, K2 Spice, Zohai, Blaze and Wicked X.