Woman suspects she was drugged in George Street bar

A St. John's woman thinks a date rape drug was slipped in her drink at a downtown bar on Saturday night.
St. John's resident Sara Tilley believes her drink was drugged during a recent night out downtown 9:13

A woman in St. John's says she thinks a so-called date rape drug such as Rohypnol was slipped into her drink at a downtown bar on Saturday night.

Sara Tilley was attending a fundraising event with a group of friends at Distortion, a bar on George Street. She said she and her friends, all in their 30s, took precautions to be safe.

"The whole night we were right next to our drinks," said Tilley. "They were about two feet, literally, from where I was."

A "walking blackout"

Tilley said at about 11 p.m., she ordered a second drink. After she took a couple of sips, her night out took a dramatic twist.

"It took about 10 minutes for me to go from being completely normal and having a good time and dancing, to be being on the floor, vomiting and unable to stand," Tilley said.

She described the next three hours as a "walking blackout," adding she has no memory of what happened during that time. Tilley's friends told her she was conscious, and they had no trouble getting her outside the bar.

"I didn't know where I was, what I was doing, but I was still mobile and able to speak," Tilley said.

"So if I hadn't been there with my friends it would have been very easy to manipulate me wherever you wanted me to go."

Examined by paramedics

Tilley says she remembers being examined by paramedics at a friend's house. She said the paramedics suspected she was drugged.

"They didn't seem to be surprised to be called to this type of incident." 

Tilley said she felt too sick and shaken up to go to the hospital for blood tests to prove she had been drugged, but police went with the paramedics to her friend's house and asked questions about the incident.

Tilley said she and her friends have been going over the events of the evening in their minds, trying to recall someone or something which might have been suspicious. But no one has been able to think of anything that could explain what happened to her.

George Street Association concerned

Seamus O'Keefe, the executive director of the George Street Association, said Tuesday that Distortion is not a member of his association.

But, he said the incident is of great concern to his members, whose livelihood depends on providing a safe environment for their patrons.

He added that his organization requires its members to contact police or emergency services should they suspect a customer has been drugged.

Tilley has shared her experience on Facebook, and said she was surprised to find out that many other people have similar stories.