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Four hospitalized after drinking from bottle they found

Jun 20, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The Riverton Police Department is investigating a bottle of liquid found near City Park after four people were hospitalized after drinking from it.

Police chief Mike Broadhead said a man found a liquor bottle near a trash bin Wednesday, consumed part of the liquid, and gave the rest to his friends -- two males and one female -- who also drank some.

"At some point later in the evening, all four individuals became ill," Broadhead said. "They each described the liquid in the liquor bottle as tasting poor."

Broadhead stressed that police do not know whether the liquid caused their sickness or if it was because of something else entirely separate.

Broadhead said the group reported having upset stomachs and increased pulse rates.

"Each individual was seen at the hospital, where three were treated and released," Broadhead said. "One was kept for observation and has since been released."

Broadhead said the affected individuals were able to provide a good description of the bottle, and RPD officers actively searched the trash bins and nearby areas in an attempt to locate the bottle but had no luck.

"These folks also were most likely eating food located in or near Dumpsters as well," Broadhead said. "Did they suffer from food poisoning? Due to the fact police officers could not locate the actual bottle, we truly have no idea what they ingested."

The RPD has no information suggesting there was a deliberate effort to harm anyone.

"When the bottle was consumed it was not full, and my guess is it probably didn't taste very good," Broadhead said. "Although the RPD is concerned, we have no indication the individuals were deliberately poisoned."

Broadhead said the RPD receives reports on a regular basis of people shoplifting mouthwash and hand sanitizer to get the alcohol.

"We have had reports of people getting sick from drinking Aqua Net hairspray," Broadhead said. "It is all bad for you and incredibly harmful to the human body, but all consistent with people trapped in addiction."

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