He punched and kicked the much larger officers, and left one with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Police eventually discovered the out-of-control man wasn't on PCP, methamphetamine or other drugs that can lead to similar behavior.
He was high on bath salts.
"We do have incidents where officers have come in contact with people under the influence of bath salts, and officers have been injured," said San Bernardino police Lt. Paul Williams.
The synthetic designer drugs, legal to possess because of loopholes in the law, have made national headlines due to their adverse effects, often after being smoked, injected, snorted or injested.
These bath salts, by the way, have nothing to do with actual bath salts.
Now a group dedicated to increasing public health and safety wants to make sure Inland Empire law enforcement officers know what to expect from people taking the substance.
The San Diego-based Institute for Public Strategies on Wednesday educated about 30 police officers from San Bernardino, Redlands, San Bernardino Unified School District police departments and other agencies on the dangers of bath salts and another popular synthetic drug called spice.
William Perno, a retired San Diego County sheriff's deputy and community organizer for IPS, encouraged community groups and law enforcement to work together to help get the drugs off the streets. Perno joined IPS this year after discovering bath salts and spice were being sold at a store next to his daughter's middle school.
"We need to work together to strengthen legislation in 2013," he said.
Both drugs come with a host of side effects.
It's a white-powdered substance not to be confused with legitimate bath salts such as epsom salt that are placed in bath tubs.
Spice, sometimes referred to as synthetic marijuana, generates $7.8 billion per year in U.S. sales, IPS officials said. Its effects range from anxiety and hallucinations to psychotic breaks. But unlike marijuana, spice is a herb that has to be sprayed with toxic chemicals in order to produce a high.
The group said there have been reports of both drugs killing people who used the drug for the first time.
But other effects the drugs produce could impact officers and other emergency responders.
IPS officials showed news footage of a 2010 incident where a Mississippi deputy was killed by a man high on bath salts and marijuana. It took six deputies to gain control of the man.
"I'm hoping we don't have an incident like this in California," Perno said.
Bath salts could reduce the effect of a Taser gun as well as pepper spray because many users don't feel pain and experience extraordinary strength.
But despite the growing problem around the nation, emergency rooms in many Inland Empire hospitals aren't documenting cases of people under the influence of the drugs, said Corey Lopez, prevention specialist for IPS.
Because the substances fail to be detected under standard drug tests, some patients are misdiagnosed.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that bath salt and spice users display symptoms similar to other drugs.
"For us to say somebody is under the influence of bath salts, you wouldn't know it until they're tested for that drug," said Ontario police Sgt. Chris Swan, who works in the narcotics division.
Ontario police didn't attend the conference in San Bernardino, but say officers have started receiving training on both drugs.
"We're just now getting educated on that," Swan said.
IPS officials encouraged law enforcement to track incidents and have discussions regarding the drugs. They also offered to assist cities with pursuing local ordinances banning the substances.
"We're hoping as we share this information with them, we can show them how important their voice is regarding this issue in California," Perno said.
Reach Melissa via email or call her at 909-386-3878.
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