Mountain View Voice

For the Record - July 20, 2012

Crime Briefs

PCP freakout?

Police are saying PCP may have fueled a series of violent events which began outside a Mountain View grocery store and ended with five officers struggling to restrain a man at a local hospital late Sunday night.

Mountain View police first contacted Joseph Bliss, 31, after a man called 911 at 11:16 p.m. on July 15 to report he had been threatened outside the Lucky at 715 E. El Camino Real, according to Liz Wylie, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department.

The police found a far-from-blissful Bliss in the Lucky parking lot, "yelling and acting bizarre," Wylie told the Voice. Officers detained Bliss and eventually arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, Wylie said.

Once police got Bliss to a nearby hospital "due to his bizarre behavior," he lunged at a nurse and had to be forced to the ground, Wylie wrote. "Bliss continued to struggle and the officers requested emergency assistance. It took three more officers (five total) to be able to control Bliss while hospital staff placed him in restraints."

A male officer was hit in the head during the struggle, according to Wylie. He was treated at the hospital for a sprained foot and a cut on his forehead. Bliss stayed at the hospital before he could be safely transported to the county jail where he was booked for battery on a police officer and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Though some might speculate that he was under the influence of a substance known as bath salts — due to a string of recent stories in the news of people acting erratic and violent while on the drug — Wylie wrote that Bliss displayed behavior and symptoms more consistent with PCP, or phencyclidine, a drug that can give users an "incredible resistance to pain." Methamphetamine, she wrote, could also be at the root of the episode, but police won't know for sure until the toxicology report is finished.

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