Bath salts are reportedly behind 20-year-old Robert William White's attack on an elderly woman outside Los Angeles on Thursday, police said.
White, of Glendale, Calif., became the latest violent offender arrested while allegedly on bath salts when he was collared Thursday after bludgeoning an elderly woman in the head with a shovel and locking himself inside his apartment for about an hour, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As White was escorted out of his apartment, the Times said he screamed, God loves all you, at onlookers near his apartment on Spazier Avenue.
Robert William White was taken to a nearby hospital. White has allegedly admitted that he had been taking bath salts mixed with soda before he went into the state of mind that led him to attack his neighbor, who the New York Daily News said was 77 years old. Her name has yet to be released by authorities.
He seemed completely out of sorts, Northwest Glendale Police Lt. Bruce Fox told the Times.
Salbi Dgerdzyan, one of White's neighbors, told the Times that White told his victim, I hate you and I want to kill you today, after she told him to stop swinging a shovel at birds. That was when he turned on her and hit her in the head with the shovel.
The victim was also taken to a nearby hospital, where the Times reported that she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Before the attack, a neighbor allegedly heard Robert William White breaking glass and screaming profanities.
The attack was the latest in a recent string of attacks that have given their allegedly bath-salts-ridden perpetrators odd nicknames like cannibal or zombie.
Bath salts, a synthetic drug that is legal in many parts of the U.S. and about which little is known, are being linked to a rising number of violent incidents, causing nationwide concern over their proliferation.
Outrage over them reached a fever pitch in May, when Rudy Eugene allegedly took bath salts and got naked before attacking a homeless man, Donald Poppo, by eating pieces of his face in broad daylight on a Miami street.
The attack was caught on video, and Eugene was killed by police who were trying to break up the fight. Shortly thereafter, the case became international news as accounts of the Miami zombie fanned fears of a zombie apocalypse.
The Miami city government has since banned bath salts in response to the horrific attack. However, there is no evidence Eugene ingested bath salts around the time it was carried out.
Reportedly, there have been several other recent violent incidents involving folks using bath salts, sparking an international conversation about its dangers.