Skidmore students alerted to spiked drinks in Saratoga bars

SARATOGA SPRINGS — As city officials ponder what to do about bar fights that result in violence and sometimes deathSkidmore College security raised another issue regarding the city’s nightlife – fortified drinks.

During the fall semester, campus security sent out three alerts regarding two downtown facilities where students allegedly were drugged. In each case, on September 25, October 1, and October 15, campus security reported that “the student, who was not injured, reported feeling unusually impaired from the amount of alcohol consumed”.

“Do not leave drinks unattended and do not consume drinks offered or handled by strangers,” the security alerts warn. “Be aware of your drink, even when it’s in your hand, while dancing or socializing.”

The two businesses, a nightclub and restaurant near the city’s nightlife hub on Caroline Street, were named in the alerts. The Times Union is not naming the establishments at this time because no report has been filed with the police.

However, university spokeswoman Sara Miga said the incidents were investigated by campus security and the students identified “the locations where the possible respective incidents occurred. “.

“Whenever a suspicious incident of this type is reported to Skidmore campus security, it is investigated and a security alert is sent to our community via email and text, providing advice safety and reminding our students to look out for their safety and well-being, including when visiting local institutions,” Miga wrote in an email.

Saratoga Springs Police Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino said Skidmore students did not report the incidents to city police.

“Victims don’t want to be identified and don’t come forward,” Montagnino said. “We don’t have any toxicology reports. There are only vague allegations. … What we really need is if a person feels like they’re a victim of this, call 911 immediately, get some medical attention and blood tests and then we will have real proof that something happened. If we find out in a reasonable amount of time, we could get surveillance videos. That would be a place to start.

A club owner, who did not want to be identified for fear his business would be ruined, said he was disappointed his bar was named twice in campus alerts. He said the students are waking up more hungover than they should be and conclude their drinks “have been ruined”.

He also activated campus security, saying he does not believe they are testing students or alerting him when students report a problem at his bar. He also said many students drink before entering and visit more than one bar per night.

“There is no evidence that this happened,” he said. “It’s pointing fingers. It’s less of a cautionary tale and it feels very focused.”

He said that on two of the dates mentioned he had rented private rooms to Skidmore students for parties and that college IDs were required to enter those rooms. He won’t do that anymore. He also said every bar should be on “high alert” for drugged drinks.

“It’s happening everywhere, across the world,” he said. “It’s a global problem.”

About James K. Bonnette

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