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FPD investigating five drugging allegations in downtown Fargo



FARGO, N.D.  – Fargo Police say they are now up to five cases of men and women who say their drinks were drugged at various downtown Fargo bars.

Valley News Live has been the only news outlet reporting on these incidents.

Police said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that they have been unable to connect these incidents to a specific person or location.

“If you are consuming alcohol in the city of Fargo and you suspect that you have been drugged, is imperative you notify the Fargo Police Department as soon as possible,” FPD Deputy Chief Joe Anderson said Thursday.

Anderson says the alleged druggings don’t seem to target any specific type of woman or bar. Police say one male has reported his drink being drugged. Investigators also say one of the druggings does involve an alleged sexual assault, but the other cases do not.

Anderson says symptoms of date rape drugs can set-in within 15 to 30 minutes and could last for up to six hours. FPD urges caution not only for those drinking alcohol, but for those staying sober as well, as the drugs can be slipped within seconds and are odorless and tasteless.

“Confirm that your drink is being served directly by the bartender or server. Don’t allow people you don’t know or trust to order drinks and deliver them to you. Watch your drink at all times. Never leave

your drink unattended,” Anderson said.

Over the last few weeks, many of you have reached out with concerns on how to keep yourself safe when going out for the night. Some of you have asked if products like date rape drug testing strips, nail polish, coasters and straws are worth the money. And while FPD did say those products are something to help keep you aware of your situation, the department can’t endorse any products such as those, as the effectiveness and reliability is unknown.

Anderson says if you do order a product to test your drinks for date rape drugs and that product indicates your drink is positive, to save the drink as best you can, alert the bartenders and call police immediately.

“We would take the drink as evidence and we would also request that you as a victim would also go get tested as well, either blood or urine, and we would be able to send that sample off to a lab,” Anderson said.

Fargo Police emphasize if you think you were drugged or if you saw someone slip something into a person’s drink, to call police immediately as the quicker evidence is collected, the better chance investigators have at cracking the case.

If you believe you or someone you know has been drugged, police urge you to seek medical attention immediately and call police to allow for the timely collection of critical bodily fluid evidence necessary to prove a case.

Some signs to watch for include:

• Feeling drunk despite not having consumed any alcohol

• Feeling confused or disoriented

• Losing consciousness

• You are nauseous, sleepy, and have a loss of reflexes

• Waking up feeling confused, hungover, or unable to recall the night before

Police say of the five reports, four of them happened this month alone, with the other one occurring in late January.

Valley News Live is not naming any of the bars involved, as both Fargo Police and the victims state this could happen anywhere, and police say none of the incidents involve bartenders drugging the drinks.