July 19, 2011

Naked woman pulled from pipe

WATERVILLE -- Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said police do not know why a naked, crying woman crawled into a sewer pipe emerging from a cliff 25 feet above the Kennebec River on Sunday morning.

Massey said the 24-year-old Clinton woman was transported to MaineGeneral Medical Center Thayer Campus after Waterville Fire Department rescue personnel rappelled 10 feet down a cliff and pulled her from the pipe emptying into the river.

"We don't know why she was down there," said Massey about the woman he described as incoherent.

Massey said he did not know if the woman had ingested a new synthetic hallucinogenic drug known as bath salts; he did say her behavior was indicative of a person high on the new synthetic hallucinogenic drug.

"It was an unusual call. People don't run around naked in the daytime. The officers in the fire department did a great job getting to her."

Massey said about 9:55 a.m. Sunday, an employee at Maine Central Railroad reported a naked woman had run through the railyard on College Avenue toward the river.

Police, said Massey, searched the area, including a 35-foot cliff next to the river.

Massey said one officer heard crying and determined the noise was coming from a large sewer pipe which protruded about 10 feet below the top of the cliff.

"She had climbed down a sheer cliff, which was quite a feat," said Massey. "She had gotten her feet into the sewer pipe and gotten herself in without falling. There was water running out of the sewer pipe."

Earlier this month, Gov. Paul LePage signed emergency legislation which banned the drug bath salts, which can cause agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Beth Staples -- 861-9252


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