Police Say Man Was High On Bath Salts

WHEELING – A man was allegedly high on bath salts when police found him naked and bleeding this morning behind an apartment building in Elm Grove, and while he was in a “drug-induced mania,” he released tarantulas and boa constrictors inside an apartment.

Kasey J. Smith was handcuffed to a bed at Wheeling Hospital at press time, and he is expected to remain there for the next 24 hours because of his intoxicated condition. Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe will arraign him sometime Wednesday on a charges of indecent exposure and public intoxication.

Police received a noise complaint at 6:30 a.m. today from an apartment building at 2194 National Road. Responding officers encountered a site that was so blood-stained, they believed there may have been a murder at the scene. That precipitated an overwhelming response from law enforcement, with multiple officers, including at least one detective and Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger arriving at the residence.

Schwertfeger said Smith, 26, of McMechen, was naked and bleeding from a laceration to his arm when officers located him behind the building. Earlier this morning, Smith was inside a friend’s apartment, but those people left at 3 a.m. today when Smith became agitated, Schwertfeger said.

Smith started destroying things inside the residence, and broke glass tanks that housed the resident’s pet tarantulas and boa constrictors. Ohio County Dog Warden Doug McCroskey was called to the building, as at least one spider and four snakes were loose in the apartment.

But he could not gain access to the building, he said. Some of those creatures have not been recovered, Schwertfeger said. The chief did not know how large the snakes are, however.

Smith also allegedly entered or attempted to enter other apartments in the building, looking for water. Schwertfeger said Smith kept mentioning water while officers were at the scene, which indicated Smith had ingested bath salts.

Police also served Smith with a warrant charging simple possession out of Marshall County.