Neely, 37, also told officers he had smoked flakka. And in Palm Beach County, a SWAT team had to talk Leroy Strothers, 33, off a rooftop in January.
He had fired a shot from up there, claiming he was being followed by a Haitian gang that had threatened his family.
Flakka, a derivative of the Spanish word for a thin, pretty woman, is usually sold in a crystal form and is often smoked using electronic cigarettes, which are popular with young people and give off no odor. "I've had one addict describe it as insanity," said Don Maines, a drug treatment counselor with the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale. At the Broward Sheriff's Office laboratory, flakka submissions grew from fewer than 200 in 2014 to 275 already, in just the first three months of this year, according to spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion. It's an emerging drug," said Chad Brown, an FDLE supervisory special agent.
(AP Photo/Broward Sheriff's Office via AP) FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.
-- One man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor.
The FDLE's Brown said his agency is training police to better recognize flakka and the symptoms it can cause. "It seems to be universal that they think someone is chasing them.
One challenge is that flakka manufacturers make subtle changes to its chemical makeup, foiling efforts to test for the drug, and it is frequently mixed with other substances, such as crack cocaine or heroin, with unknown effects, said Maines, of the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Strothers, who was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, told officers he had smoked flakka and could not remember how he got on the roof.
"I'm feeling delusional and hallucinating," Strothers said, according to a sheriff's report.
Bleeding above one eye, West told officers that he was desperate for help from police because "he was being chased by 20-25 individuals and he didn't know why." He later told police he had smoked flakka.
In March, Shanard Neely got impaled through the buttocks on the department's 10-foot-high security fence while trying to climb over, convinced he was being pursued and that "he needed to go to jail or they would kill him," police said.
In one recent case, 22-year-old Jaime Nicole Lewis was charged in a DEA complaint with conspiracy to distribute flakka after DEA agents based in London intercepted U.