An investigation by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office into suspicious incidents in North Naples continues.
CCSO has received reports recently from people who said they became ill or passed out after consuming alcoholic beverages in a restaurant. Most of these incidents are alleged to have taken place at Blue Martini. One person has reported a similar incident at McCormick and Schmick’s and another has reported one at Piola. All three establishments are located in the Mercato complex at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Vanderbilt Beach Road. Some of the people told investigators they think they might have been drugged.
While many details of the investigation cannot be made public at this time, investigators can share the following information:
In late February investigators began submitting samples of various types of alcoholic drinks from Blue Martini to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory to be tested for foreign substances. Those test results are not yet available.
Three people who later filed reports with CCSO went to the emergency room after leaving Blue Martini. Toxicology tests performed on them at the hospital were negative and their blood alcohol levels ranged from .16 to .219. The lowest result - .16 – is twice the legal limit for driving a vehicle in Florida.
Drugging a drink is a first-degree felony in Florida under the state’s Anti-Tampering Act.
CCSO stresses that anyone experiencing symptoms that lead them to believe that their drink was drugged should contact law enforcement immediately. Time is of the essence when performing tests to detect whether drugs are present.
If you are drinking alcohol at a restaurant or bar, CCSO wants you to be sure to do it responsibly. In order to ensure the public safety, CCSO strongly recommends the following tips:
* Always keep an eye on your drink
* Never leave your drink unattended
* Watch the bartender prepare your drink
* Never accept drinks from strangers
* Avoid sharing other people’s drinks
* Discard unattended drinks
* Prefer unopened bottled drinks or cans over drinks in glasses
* Look for obvious signs of tampering. Signs include a drink being moved from where you left it, odd bubbling or fizzing, a different color or odor, floaters of any kind, empty medicinal packets next to the glass or on the floor, and more or less liquid than you remember.
* Cease drinking anything that has an unusual taste or appearance.
If you are out and suspect your drink has been drugged, call 911.
You can also call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line at 252-9300, or you can make a report online at www.colliersheriff.org, go to “How Do I” and click on “Tip Us Off”.
Any report filed with CCSO becomes public information and is available to anyone who requests it, including members of the media.