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Loyola, Tulane students warned of druggings at popular bars near campus

“Students, particularly minors, may have been served illegal substances without their knowledge or consent, putting them in danger,” a university official said.

NEW ORLEANS — Loyola and Tulane police are warning of students reporting being roofied at bars near the universities. The New Orleans Police Department is heading up the investigation after Loyola University Police noticed a trend in the last week of reports of students possibly being roofied, believing someone slipped something in their drinks.  

"My roommate told me about it and ever since then, I don’t want to go out," a Loyola freshman said.  

According to NOPD, students reported unknowingly consuming illicit drugs at TJ Quills Bar on Maple Street. Friday, the NOPD, in conjunction with the Loyola Police Department, Tulane Police Department, ATC, and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, served a search warrant on that location. 

"It's kind of scary. It's across the board at a lot of bars and we go to all of them, but its something that we've been hearing about for a while," Tulane Junior Izzy Archer said.  

Loyola University Police issued a warning to students Monday in an email. It said in part, "We are concerned that students, particularly minors, may have been served illegal substances without their knowledge or consent, putting them in danger." 

"I'm not necessarily surprised. It's unfortunate that we all know people that have been effected and it's about time they do something about it," Tulane Junior Lauren Shapiro said.  

"I think it's more rare to not know someone throughout your Loyola career who hasn't been drugged," Loyola Junior Caroline Budd said. "I think I was just grateful the school emailed us about it and actually addressed it because all the students knew about it." 

Loyola University Police Chief Todd Warren is encouraging students to learn symptoms of being roofied including feeling very drunk even if you haven't had much, nausea, loss of muscle control, and dizziness.

"Hopefully we can get this stopped, but the other thing is be very mindful of your surroundings, be mindful of your friends," Warren said. 

He reminds students to watch drinks closely and never take one from someone you don't know well. 

"If it's not your absolute best friend, don’t leave it with someone, don’t set it down," Budd said. 

NOPD is leading the investigation and said they are not aware of the incidents involving any additional crimes, such as sexual assault. 

A bar mentioned specifically by Loyola officials in their email to students about the possible druggings, T.J. Quills, responded Wednesday to the reports, saying they were unaware of any specific allegations but were committed to patron safety. 

"T.J. Quills has cooperated fully with all agencies, governmental and otherwise, and is in no manner aware of their employees having been involved in any unsafe activity," the bar's management said in a statement. "There is no one more interested in getting to the bottom of these allegations than the management and ownership of T.J. Quills." 

Loyola University Police sent the following email to students Monday:

 

Dear Loyola community, 

We want to make you aware that several students have reported to us their suspicion that their drinks may have been drugged at local bars close to campus.  New Orleans Police with the assistance of several agencies including Loyola University Police, are actively investigating these incidents, including a recent raid at T.J. Quills. 

We are concerned that students, particularly minors, may have been served illegal substances without their knowledge or consent, putting them in danger.  (We also want to make clear that this danger is not limited to any single bar, though the incidents reported have occurred at the bars closest to campus that many of you frequent.) 

We urge anyone with information relevant to the investigation to come forward and help us, and we want to remind all of you to be careful.

Symptoms and signs of being "roofied" include:
• feeling very drunk, even if you've only had one drink
• nausea and vomiting
• loss of muscle control
• excessive sweating
• breathing problems
• heart irregularities
• dizziness
• "out-of-body" dream-like experience
You can reach out to me directly by calling me at 504-865-3190 or by emailing me at twwarren@loyno.edu. You may also contact the NOPD Detectives leading the investigation, Matthew Connolly or Timothy Jones, at 504-658-6020. Lastly, you can use our Silent Witness form, which allows students to report possible crimes on campus anonymously. We want to remind you that students coming forward as witnesses of serious crimes such as this will not be punished for infractions like underage drinking - see our amnesty policy for more information.

Student Affairs recently asked all students to store LUPD's number (504-865-3434) in your cell phones, so you can call us anytime.

I appreciate your concern and cooperation. By working together in the Loyola way, we can truly serve as men and women for and with others. 

 

Todd Warren
Chief Todd
Director of University Police 

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