Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Good Samaritan to the Rescue

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Good Samaritan to the Rescue

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Chief Reporter

ROLLING around in agony, a suspect ed legal high user collapses on the ground in Newcastle city centre.

Worrying video footage was captured by a good samaritan Michael Rogers who stayed with the victim until para medics arrived.

Paramedics say this was one of a staggering 167 legal highrelated call outs made the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) since January 1. Mr Rogers had been heading to St James' Metro station in the city centre when he spotted the man.

He said: "At first I just heard these horrific noises which sounded like someone retching.

"I had my phone on and just started recording.

"As I was walking towards him he was convulsing and going into spasm. There were some workmen there and I asked if someone had called an ambulance."

Michael, 35, noticed another man at the station who also appeared to be under the influence of a drug.

"I wanted to find out what they had taken so I could tell the paramedics when they arrived. I started speaking to the man but he just kept saying "it is too strong" all the time.

"Eventually he told me they had taken something called Pandora's Box which I know is a legal high.

"These lads were only in the mid20s but I could see they were in a real state. I waited until the ambulance arrived and told the paramedics what they's taken."

The North East Ambulance Service say they are feeling the pressure due to these type of incidents.

Simon Swallow, head of Resilience and Special Operations, said: "We are urging people not to take these so called legal highs as they are putting their own lives in danger and also endangering the lives of others because these calls are potentially delaying our response to someone else who is suffering a heart attack or other lifethreat ening condition."

A spokesman for Changing Lives, a North Eastbased charity providing shelter and support for vulnerable peo ple, said it was aware of alarming increases in legal high usage. …

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