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Activists say PCP problem in KC is growing as evidenced by bus incident on Monday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Another violent incident involving a man high on the drug PCP has prompted community activists to call attention to the problem in the inner-city. Kansas City police arrested a man  on Monday they say was high on the drug, but not before he tried to carjack multiple drivers and aimed a gun at a metro bus.

Around 7 p.m., an ATA bus carrying nine people pulled up to 63rd and Prospect. A man carrying a handgun walked up to the doors was seen on surveillance video. Unable to get in, the man kicked and punched at the glass doors.

Seconds later, the man stood in the middle of the intersection, still brandishing his weapon, attempting to carjack not one, not two, but three Kansas City drivers.

Police say the man was high on PCP.

"Embalming fluid. I want you to understand that. What that does is it eats away at the brain and it does not come back. So that means you got a bunch of zombies walking around in the neighborhood now," said Bishop Tony Caldwell, a community activist.

Thursday we met Bishop Caldwell and fellow activist Ron Hunt on the corner of 35th and Prospect to talk about what they are seeing with PCP on the inner-city streets.

"This right here, 35th and Prospect, is one of the most drug haven, infested street corners here in KCMO," said Hunt.

Within minutes we were approached by current and former users of the drug they call "wet".

"You can't feel nothing. It makes you feel numb," said Alfred Rayner, a man who says he smoked "wet" nearly every day for 15 years.

"Stripped off all my clothes. Didn't even know it. Yep, that's the worst thing I ever did," Rayner said of his actions while on the drug.

Rayner said he was never violent, but in the latest episodes like the one at 63rd and Prospect on Monday, people could have been hurt.

"Crack used to be the number one drug of choice. But it's not anymore. This has become the number one drug of choice," Bishop Caldwell said.

He says even Kansas City's youth are now picking up on the drug.

"Our kids are in hell in this. Youngsters are thinking this is the newest drug on the streets. It's been out here a while, but now it's getting to the point where it's out of control," Caldwell said.

"This game is no joke. It's nothing to play with. It's not a recreational thing. It is a life or death thing with this drug," said Janae Bowers, who said her cousin was murdered earlier this year by a man high on PCP.

In Monday's PCP incident, Kansas City police arrested the man before he injured anyone. While in custody, police say he spit at an officer and kicked an EMS worker in the face. Police say in the man's backpack they found a vial of what they believe was PCP. Statistics on the PCP drug problem in Kansas City were not available Thursday.

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4 comments

  • Jessup

    The activists should fence off the Prospect corridor along with 6 blocks on each side. Once fenced, the police should swoop in and confiscate all the drugs and arrest probably 75% of the people living in the fenced area. Think of all the criminals we could take off the streets or we could evacuate the good people and make all the drug dealers and gangsters live in that fenced area with no outside security. Also, their should be no laws inside the fenced area so they are free to kill each other as they wish. KC would become much safer.

  • Molly P.

    Bishop Caldwell — PCP is NOT embalming fluid. PCP — phencyclidine or phenylcyclohexylpiperidine — is a drug in and of itself. PCP is a white, crystalline powder (contaminants may cause tan to brown color), or a clear, yellowish liquid. PCP was formerly used as a surgical anesthetic, however, there is no current legitimate medical use in humans. Used as a veterinary anesthetic or tranquilizer. Its powder form is dissolved in embalming fluid (formaldehyde) or another solvent and then users can dip whatever into it and smoke it. Formaldehyde (embalming fluid) alone doesn’t get you high. Regardless, this drug is causing increasing violence in this city and neighborhoods need to stop being so tolerant of ALL drug use. The attitudes of the adults are influencing the children. We have generations of addicts living in our city.