Seeking Cool Whip High at Publix, A Couple Is Charged With Inhaling
FlaglerLive | March 5, 2014
People looking for a quick high get arrested for smoking pot, for snorting cocaine or smoking crack or popping meth. Rarely are they arrested for inhaling chemicals. Even more rarely for doing so very publicly, in front of copious eyes and surveillance cameras.
Tuesday evening, Gretchen Wentworth, 35, and David Collins, 34, residents of 609 North Ocean Shore Boulevard in Flagler Beach, were arrested for inhaling cool whip. That is, the nitrous oxide that powers the cream out of its canister. They were arrested for allegedly doing so at the Flagler Beach Publix, after they’d aggravated other customers.
A Flagler Beach Police officer was dispatched to the store off of State Road 100 just before 7 p.m. on a verbal disturbance call. The store manager told the cop that he and other staffers had been watching Collins and Wentworth “walk through the store arguing with other customers,” according to the pair’s arrest reports. The manager said the two “took possession of cool whip from the shelves and began to inhale the propellant chemical.”
Collins and Wentworth paid for the merchandise, and told the cop as much. “Both subjects appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance,” the arrest report states, referring to cool whip propellant.
Many states, including Florida, ban the sale and use of nitrous oxide outside of controlled environments such as dental offices. Using nitrous oxide is a second-degree misdemeanor (which bumps up to a third-degree felony for sale or possession of more than 16 grams of nitrous oxide).
Both Collins and Wentworth, their arrest report states, “displayed glassy eyes, slurred speech and had a difficult time maintaining their balance.” Once outside the store, the cop got tgheir identification and found out that they both had outstanding warrants in Michigan “for failure to appear for narcotics charges.”
They were booked at the Flagler County jail. Wentworth was released on her own recognizance. Collins was released on $500 bond.