Cops: Gwinnett man ate feces after snorting bath salts

A 21-year-old Gwinnett man allegedly under the influence of bath salts was arrested this week after he tried to fight a police officer and consumed his own feces, police said.

Officers arrived at a residence on the 2100 block of Worrall Hill Drive around 4 p.m. on July 3 after a woman told police her son, Matthew Hammond, was "walking around out of his mind, armed with a knife," according to a police incident report.

When the officer pulled up to a house, the man sprinted towards his car.

Hammond chased after the car as the officer pulled away. When the officer stopped, Hammond ran next to the car and violently pulled on the locked doors and banged on the windows, according to the report. The officer pulled his gun and ordered Hammond to step away and drop the silver object in his hands, later identified as a cell phone. Hammond dropped the knife before the officer came, and Hammond's brother took it back in the house, according to the report.

Hammond refused the officer's orders and challenged the officer to a fight. Hammond eventually got on the ground and the officer arrested him.

Hammond continued to act bizarrely once in custody. He spoke in fragmented sentences about random subjects, repeatedly quoting a hot sauce commercial phrase, "I put that [expletive] on everything." He also appeared to be hallucinating and spoke to imaginary people.

Meanwhile, the officer smelled a "strong odor of excrement emitting from his breath" and said he appeared to have "feces in his mouth and on his teeth," according to the report.

The officer took Hammond to the Gwinnett County Jail, where medical staff determined he needed medical treatment. Hammond, who was yelling and kicking windows, had to be restrained during the ride to the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.

Hammond eventually told officers he smoked marijuana, drank alcohol and snorted "a lot" of bath salts, according to the report.

When the officer asked Hammond why he had a knife, he responded, "Yo, somebody was about to get stabbed," according to the report.

Hammond was eventually released from the hospital and taken back to jail, where he is being held on felony obstruction and disorderly conduct charges without bond.

Hammond's arrest is the second violent drug arrest in Gwinnett County this week, police said.

"It seems like it's becoming more prevalent," said Corp. Jake Smith, a Gwinnett police spokesman. "But it's not nearly as common as the other drugs, like meth and marijuana."

On July 2, Gwinnett police responded to a man running nude at a Lilburn driving range, Smith said. The man continued to resist arrest after he was pepper sprayed and Tasered. He told police he had smoked marijuana laced with chemicals.

Smith said people on bath salts are usually more violent than other drug users.

"They don't feel much pain," he said.

Smith said the department is educating officers to recognize the signs of synthetic drugs as they become more prevalent in Gwinnett County.