Men, women given different cups at Roslyn party

Men, women given different cups at Roslyn party »Play Video
Photo shows the house where the party took place.
ROSLYN, Wash. -- As police continue their investigation into a mass overdose of nine young people at a party over the weekend, witnesses are coming forward saying that men and women may have been given different drinking cups that night. Police believe the drinks of women may have been spiked.

Matt Hughes, a local bartender and bouncer, rushed to the scene after he saw ambulances speeding through town and said drinking cups were segregated by gender, according to a college student he knows well.

"He said they had something set up where there were blue cups and red cups," Hughes said. "I don't know which color was which, but one of the color cups was supposed to be for the girls and the other was supposed to be for the boys, so this was planned."

Hughes was working as a bouncer at the Brick, a local bar, on Friday night when some of the partygoers ran into town about a block away, asking for help.

"They came running down the street out in front of the Brick. They said that some sort of crazy thing was going on up here and there were people passing out," he said.

Chris Unger also said he heard a warning about drinking from the red cups.

"I heard they all had red cups and people were saying, 'don't drink out of the red cups, don't drink out of the red cups,' " Unger said. "I know I saw someone drink out of the red cup. I took one sip of it and I immediately threw up with out a single drink... that's how powerful it was."

The nine young people were rushed to the hospital Friday night after they overdosed on a powerful drug that apparently was mixed into their drinks without their knowledge, police said.

Investigators originally said 12 people were hospitalized, but officials with Central Washington University said Tuesday that they have revised the number down to nine -- six men and three women.

Investigators fear the drug was Rohypnol, or "Roofies," also known as the "date rape drug." By Sunday afternoon, all students had been released.

Most of the victims were young women who attend Central Washington University. Detectives are now investigating whether they were given spiked drinks to render them defenseless against a sexual assault, but were saved by the timely arrival of police at the scene.

Investigators are still awaiting the results of toxicology tests on blood and urine samples that were taken from the hospitalized students, which could take as much as six to eight weeks. No arrests have been made.

CWU administrators held meetings over the weekend and told students that those involved could also face sanctions as tough as expulsion.

"What we're trying to do is focus on the facts of the case, and there are a lot of rumors out about what may or may not have happened," said CWU spokeswoman Linda Schactler. "And we just don't have the facts. We just don't know that." (Read the CWU president's letter to the parents)

An estimated 50 people were at the party, Police Chief Scott Ferguson said. He said none of the young people who overdosed meant to get high or unconscious, and none had more than one or two drinks. The party on Friday coincided with Roslyn Crawl, an event featuring 20 bands at three venues.