A 20-year-old California man charged with attacking a 77-year-old woman after he had ingested bath salts, a synthetic drug, has pleaded not guilty, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Before attacking the unidentified woman June 21 in Glendale, Robert White told her, I hate you and I want to kill you today, according to neighbor Salbi Dgeredzyan. Then he screamed, God loves all of you to bystanders after officers had arrested him and were carrying him out of his apartment.
But Robert William White took a very different tone when he appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale on Tuesday in a gray inmate jumpsuit and handcuffs, according to the LA Times.
Steven Sitkoff, the young man's attorney, said that his client did not have a criminal history and described White as polite. He added that his client is doing fine in jail.
White is facing two felony counts of first-degree burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, the Times said.
Police said he told officers he had taken bath salts dissolved in soda, according to the Glendale News-Press.
The victim was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, the Glendale News-Press reported.
Bath salts have been in the news after it was thought that Rudy Eugene, also known as the Miami Zombie, was under their influence when he viciously attacked a 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo, on a causeway May 26. Eugene tore off nearly 80 percent of Poppo's face, leaving only his mouth and goatee before being shot dead by police.
Eugene got dubbed a cannibal and a zombie because it was assumed that he was eating Poppo's face, but when doctors opened up his stomach, there weren't any traces of flesh. It was recently revealed that no traces of bath salts were found in Eugene's toxicology report.
Bath salts are a synthetic drug that typically contain a type of amphetamine, CBC News said, when taken they're taken they speed up the central nervous system and can produce paranoia, hallucinations and violent behavior,
The drug goes by various names like Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Red Dove, Blue Silk, Zoom, Bloom, Cloud Nine, Ocean Snow, Lunar Wave, Vanilla Sky, White Lightning, Scarface, and Hurricane Charlie, as reported by National Institure on Drug Abuse.
The drug's effects may explain White's behavior when he was approached by the elderly woman he attacked, according to authorities, she was trying to stop him from swatting birds with the shovel, but then he turned on her. Even though she tried to walk away, White followed her, police said.
The 20-year-old remains custody in lieu of $75,000 bail and will appear in court on July, the LA Times said.