Bath salts bust in Hell’s Kitchen
Police responded to a 911 call of “a dispute between neighbors involving a foul smell inside of an apartment” at 431 West 54th Street on Monday night.
A female resident of the building complained of an odor coming from unit 3B that “makes her eyes watery.”
The police asked to go inside but the tenant, a white male in his 50s later identified as Christopher Shaffer, refused them entry.
When cops asked what was going on, Shaffer told them the ceiling collapsed.
The fire department was called and when they entered the apartment, they found chemistry beakers that could potentially be used to make meth.
The building was evacuated while the Bomb Squad, Emergency Service Unit, Narcotics and specialists from the NYPD lab investigated the scene.
There were jars of white powder in the fridge, as well as four clear beakers in the living room.
The Department of Environmental Protection eventually determined that the powders and substances in the apartment were safe and legal, and identified them as table salt, corn meal and baking soda.
Shaffer was taken into custody but not arrested and no charges are being brought against him. He has been transported to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
All of the building’s tenants were allowed back in following the investigation.
Law enforcement sources say Shaffer was attempting to make bath salts, which are not illegal.
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