A Revelstoke woman’s drinks were drugged while on a date in December. (File photo/Dreamstime)

A Revelstoke woman’s drinks were drugged while on a date in December. (File photo/Dreamstime)

Not just at nightclubs: Revelstoke woman drugged on Tinder-date

RCMP say cases rarely solved due to lack of suspects or evidence

One Revelstoke woman is thankful after managing to safely escape from a first date after realizing he had spiked her drink with drugs.

In the last two years, there have been nine drink-spiking incidents reported to the Revelstoke RCMP, said Staff Sgt. Chris Dodds. Of those, six were from women and three from men.

However, the majority of those incidents were before the start of the pandemic, when restaurants and bars were more frequently open and had higher capacities.

Shawna, whose name has been changed for safety concerns, was meeting a man from the dating app Tinder for dinner.

They had chatted over Facetime on several occasions and because he lived in Golden she had no qualms meeting him at a Revelstoke hotel in December.

“It’s ultimately not really the way I want to meet people but it’s hard obviously being single and it’s COVID, how else do you meet people these days?” she said. “It is just so normal, we have normalized online dating to a point where I did feel totally comfortable going over there.”

After her second margarita made by her date, Shawna said she started feeling nauseous and tired but blamed it on dehydration from a day of skiing. It wasn’t until she went to the washroom and looked in the mirror that Shawna suspected she had been drugged: she was pale and her pupils were dilated.

READ MORE: ‘It’s 2018 and we shouldn’t tolerate this anymore’: Advocacy group against sexual assault visits Revelstoke

On the sly, she texted her roommate about her suspicions and asked for a ride home.

Ten minutes later, Shawna was in her roommate’s car, relieved to get away from her date.

When she reported the incident to the police that night she was surprised when they said there was nothing they could do because he hadn’t physically touched her, though the police later said they did go to the hotel to talk with him.

Shawna said she believes the drink spiking was an attempt towards sexual assault.

“I don’t see any other reason why you would do something like that.”

The next morning her friends convinced her to go to the hospital for a drug test. The results showed MDMA and methamphetamine in her system.

When Shawna called the RCMP to report the additional information, a different officer responded in a more understanding way, she said. She went into the police station to give a statement, along with her roommate and visited the victim’s services coordinator.

The last she heard the RCMP was bringing the man in for a statement.

Sgt. Dodds said the majority of drink-spiking reports over the last two years remain unsolved, either because there are no suspects or enough evidence to lay charges.

Dodds said there is often a time delay between the incident and when the report is filed, which can have an impact on drug test results.

“We know statistically that drink spiking does occur from time to time and likely to occur in a resort-type settings where people are attending night clubs etc.,”

He said it’s possible that some incidents are not reported and therefore the police may not have an accurate snapshot of how often it occurs.

Dodds urges anyone who believes their drink was spiked to report it to the police quickly to better increase the chances of investigating the incident.

He also said the RCMP works with local liquor establishments and interest groups to raise awareness on drink-spiking.

Statistics Canada does not have records on drink-spiking or tampering.

“Also, if the drug was used in an [drink-spiking] incident, we would only have it as possession, importation/exportation, or trafficking,” said Anne Maiorino, media relations officer for Statistics Canada. “So we wouldn’t know that it was used in a drink or not. We just don’t have that level of specificity.”

According to Stacey Forrester, a coordinator of Good Night Out, an organization dedicated to preventing and responding to sexual harassment and sexual assault in B.C., it’s estimated that almost 25 per cent of sexual assaults involve drugs, with alcohol being the most common.

Due to stigma, Forrester said it’s likely that percentage is much higher.

In the end, Shawna said she had a safety plan with her roommate and was able to escape her date before something worse happened and for that she is grateful.

However, she has since deleted Tinder and won’t have a first date at a hotel again.

Overall Shawna said she is disappointed. While she would have liked to see the man arrested immediately, she doesn’t know if he will ever be charged, even with the witness statements and toxicology evidence.

She said the justice system is broken and hopes her story will help spur change.

“This is a very small piece of the puzzle but if every woman that this ever happened to came forward and did something about it,” she said. “That is how change happens.”

Need help?

Contact Revelstoke Victim’s Services by calling 250-837-9260, or the Salmon Arm community based SAFE Society at 250-832-0005.

To contact the Revelstoke RCMP call 250-837-5255.

B.C.’s HealthLink can also help, call 811 or call or text VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Drugs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The rocks are painted and then hidden around town. Those who find them can keep them, leave them where they are or hide them elsewhere. (Submitted)
Spreading love and kindness in Nakusp

New group launched to nurture rock painting and hunting community

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read