Police launch investigation after BU students report drinks were spiked in off-campus incident

BOSTON — Police and Boston University’s Judicial Affairs Office are investigating reports of students having their drinks spiked at an off-campus location.

Over the weekend, the university received two reports of students complaining of their drinks being drugged in the city. According to school officials, the two complaints allegedly occurred on different days at different off-campus locations, but officials continue to investigate.

According to a police report obtained by Boston 25 News, a BPD officer responded to Beth Israel Medical Center shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Saturday for an instance of an individual that was possibly drugged.

According to the report, the victim told the officer she had been at a party earlier in the night and she had a couple drinks from boys she did not know. Shortly after, the victim began to feel sick and went upstairs to vomit. She was driven back to her dorm by her roommates, where BU police were notified of the incident.

According to the victim, the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. The victim stated she does not remember parts of the night but that she felt “different” than she normally does. She told officers that she “knows her limits” and felt as if she was under them, leading to the belief that she may have been drugged.

The victim also stated that both drinks she had at the party were premade and the cans were open.

The office of Judicial Affairs said that one of the two allegations has since been withdrawn.

“If the hearing officer determines a connection between that incident and anyone affiliated with BU, we will take appropriate action as we consistently do,” said a spokesperson from the University. “We take all allegations of student misconduct seriously.”

Students are finding ways to protect themselves when they go out for the night.

Michael and Shirah Benarde created a product called NightCap to prevent drinks from getting spiked.

“We really turned what is kind of like a serious problem, but we’ve created a fun solution for it,” said Michael Benarde, president and cofounder for NightCap.

It looks like a scrunchie that turns into a cover for your drink.

“You can wear it on your wrist or in your hair, and when you go out to the bar you just pull the cover out of the pocket and place it over the top of your drink,” said Shirah Benarde, CEO and cofounder for NightCap.

Benarde says BU Panhellenic invited them to campus last weekend to distribute more than a thousand NightCaps to students after more complaints about roofies in the city.

“It just gives you a little piece of mind that no one’s going to drop something in when you turn around for a second,” said Benarde.

Now students say they’ll be taking those extra precautions as they go out with friends.

“I mean I hope the girl’s okay, it’s like terrifying how often you hear about these stories,” said Rosa Tropp, a BU student.

Earlier this month Boston Police warned students of the dangerousness of scentless, colorless, and tasteless drugs such as Rohypnol, also known as roofie, being placed in the drinks of residents.

“These drugs can cause disorientation, confusion, temporary paralysis, or unconsciousness, along with a host of other symptoms, leaving the potential victim vulnerable to the intentions of the suspect,” Boston police said in a statement.

Rosa Tropp, a student at Boston University, told Boston 25 that the recent string of incidents are enough to make her feel uneasy.

“Definitely scary stuff, especially being a woman. That’s terrifying to me and I’ve had friends that that’s happened to not specifically just in Boston but like other cities too,” Tropp said.

While the BPD encourages everyone to look out for each other when gathered in social settings by creating a ‘buddy system’ to prevent getting separated, there are steps you can take on your own to help ensure your personal safety:

  • Be sure that your drink is being served directly by the bartender or your 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.
  • Take your drink with you to the restroom if need be.
  • Keep your hand covered over your drink when you’re not looking at it. Many creative inventions exist that can help you cover your drink.
  • Test your drink with test strips or nail polish that light up a certain color if they detect drugs.
  • Get help immediately if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, or strange in any way.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW