Pennsylvania Man, High On Synthetic Pot, Allegedly Attacks Five-Year-Old At Day Care

A Pennsylvania man, high on synthetic marijuana, allegedly smashed his way into a day care center and choked a 5-year-old girl before police arrived and subdued him, the Pocono Record is reporting.

Police say 27-year-old Michael McQuay smashed his way through the front door of Growing Adventures Day Care in Harrisburg on Wednesday. Once inside, he began physically assaulting children.

Employee Shantel Evans tells WHTM (Harrisburg) that she tried to protect as many children as she could, but the crazed man was able to snatch a 5-year-old girl from her arms.

“I grabbed as many as I could to get them to come with me and he took one of the kids out of my arms. It was awful to hear a child on the outside of the door knowing you couldn’t save her and he had her at that point. I could hear him say that he did apologize to everyone. He also said he was running, like someone was chasing him.”

Fortunately, a good samaritan helped save the 5-year-old girl from further harm. A man, who declined to be identified, said he noticed something “wrong” with McQuay and followed him into the day care center. He initially tried to reason with the man, trying to convince him to give up his hold on the 5-year-old girl. When that failed, he resorted to force.

Captain Deric Moody praised the man for his heroic actions.

“He really stepped up to the plate and was able to keep this man engaged until officers could get there.”

Police arrived and subdued the assailant. He was taken to the hospital with cuts he sustained breaking through the day care center’s glass door. His 5-year-old victim, though covered in blood — her assailant’s, not her own — was uninjured.

Captain Moody says that McQuay was high on synthetic marijuana — that is, random leaves coated with a chemical substance that is designed to mimic the effects of marijuana, according to this Inquisitr report. The substance, which has been illegal under federal law since 2012, has often turned up in news reports as having caused psychosis or other reactions in some users.

Moody says that one hit of the stuff can lead to a lifetime of psychosis.

“You can use it one time and, depending on your chemical makeup, instant psychotic for the rest of your life. It just depends on your makeup, how you absorb it. It is different for all people.”

McQuay was charged with aggravated assault, attempted homicide, and a handful of other felonies for his assault on the 5-year-old girl.

[Image courtesy of: Harrisburg Police via WHTM]

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