Sheriff's officials in Santa Cruz County are asking parents and residents to be aware of a rise of LSD use in the area, after several recent incidents involving the drug have occurred.
In the latest incident, a teen was hospitalized Wednesday after she ingested liquid LSD which had been placed on a popsicle, Santa Cruz County sheriff's officials said.
Prior to that, on Monday, a Watsonville man was arrested after assaulting two California Highway Patrol officers while allegedly under the influence of LSD, according to CHP officials.
The suspect, later identified as Marko Manojlovic, 29, allegedly drove into a construction zone on state Highway 17, south of Sugarloaf Road.
When officers tried to stop him on Laurel Road just east of Highway 17, Manojlovic drove into a metal fence, got out of the car, jumped over the fence and fled on foot, CHP officers said.
The officers ran after Manojlovic and caught him, but he assaulted them, kicking one officer several times.
Manojlovic was taken to Dominican Hospital, where he was medically cleared, and then booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, evading arrest, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. The officer was treated for minor injuries, according to the CHP.
In November, a 15-year-old boy allegedly took LSD before he stabbed his father and uncle and was fatally shot by a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy just outside of Watsonville.
Luke Smith took the drug with a friend before he used a 9-inch knife on his father and uncle just before 3 a.m. on Nov. 19 at a home in the 800 block of Amesti Road, sheriff's officials said.
After receiving a 911 call, deputies responded to the area and located Smith armed with a knife near the scene on Pioneer Road.
Law enforcement officers spent 13 minutes talking to Smith, persuading him to drop the knife and surrender. After deploying 40mm foam rounds, Taser stun guns and a K9 unit that bit him, Smith continued to threaten deputies. A deputy, identified as Chris Vigil, then fired a single shot that killed the 15-year-old boy, according to sheriff's officials.
Deputies later arrested four people for allegedly selling the drug to Smith. The suspects were identified as Taylor Filson, 28, Bradley Hodge, 24, Thomas Negron, 20, and Nathaniel Trecaso, 28, sheriff's officials said.
In light of the recent incidents involving LSD, the sheriff's office is asking resident to be extra vigilant to what the drugs look like and signs and symptoms of their use. They're also encouraging parents to have conversations with their children and young adults about drug use.
"We want to work together as a community to stop this. It has already claimed one life and has the potential to hurt so many more," Sheriff Jim Hart said in a statement.
For more information about drug prevention and treatment, residents can visit www.recoverywave.com.