SAN DIEGO – A woman claims she was roofied and left temporarily paralyzed after having drinks at an Ocean Beach bar this week.
The 46-year-old mother of three told 10News she went to the bar for a rare night out with her best friend. 10News has chosen not to identify the woman, but instead to refer to her as “Kate.”
They drank three beers together and then switched to water.
"I didn't even think to watch my drink," Kate said. "I was out dancing on the dance floor. I didn't even think that it happens to people like me."
The more water she drank, the worse she felt. Then she noticed a man watching.
"As we get closer he just looks me up and down, like so, you just know that creepy kind of look,” Kate said. “And he just says, in the most aggressive, mean-spirited voice, 'I will break you in two.' And the hair on the back of my neck stood up."
She says he followed them until a police officer standing on the corner scared him away. By the time her friend got her home and she collapsed into bed, she was paralyzed.
"I felt like I was dying, I honestly felt like I was dying," Kate said through tears. "And my phone's right there. And my hand was, I could not, I mean, it's literally like two feet away and I could not even lift my hand to grab my phone. I just wanted to call 911."
Kate says she could not move for three hours. She says she was conscious the entire time, only able to move her eyes.
"No one was home and I thought 'I can't believe I'm going to die like this.’"
When she finally made it to the emergency room, doctors told Kate they found traces of Ketamine, a drug commonly used to sedate large animals.
"He was there, waiting," she said. "He knew that that drug was starting to hit."
Kate, who has a background in law enforcement, wants everyone to know that it doesn't matter who you are or how old you are.
"I'm 46, I'm overweight, I'm a mom. I am the last person I would have thought someone would have done that to."
"I'm forever changed," Kate said. “It’s not about sex, it’s not about their attraction to you. It’s about power.”
Experts say alcohol is the most common date rape drug. Others are Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine. They are odorless, colorless and tasteless.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from a date rape drug; this applies to all types of drinks including soda and water.
• Watch your drink at all times.
• Cover your drink with your hand.
• If someone offers to buy you a drink, watch the drink being made and get it from the server yourself.
• If you get up to move or use the restroom, take your drink with you.
• If you start to feel lightheaded, nauseous, dizzy or otherwise strange, seek help immediately.
• Utilize the buddy system where a friend you trust is looking out for you and you are looking out for him/her.
• Step in if you see something suspicious.
• Remember most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and not a stranger.