Apparently intoxicated, half-naked man blocks roadway; police suspect PCP

Johnathan Joseph

Police in Orange arrested a local man for public intoxication after responding to a call reporting someone standing in the middle of John Street with no shirt on Aug. 15, reports the Orange Police Department. 

Officer Brian Latiolais reported that he was dispatched to the 500 block of John Street at 1:47 p.m. on Monday. When he arrived at the location, he saw 29-year-old Johnathan Joseph, who the officer stated he knew on sight from previous encounters, standing shirtless in the roadway as rain poured down and vehicles swerved to avoid him. As Latiolais approached, he reportedly recognized a familiar odor emanating from Joseph's person. 

"I could detect a chemical smell I believe from my training and experience to be PCP," the officer wrote in his narrative. "Once Joseph was detained he stated that he had smoked PCP earlier in the day."

PCP, or phencyclidine, a Schedule II controlled substance, is created in clandestine laboratories or diverted from veterinary sources and may be ingested, smoked, inhaled or injected by abusers. One of the side effects of PCP, and one that is the source of many PCP-related calls police receive, is that it causes the user’s body temperature to elevate. This often results in intoxicated persons removing some or all articles of clothing. 

Fearing for Joseph's safety and the safety of those around him, Latiolais arrested the suspect for public intoxication. Joseph was taken to the Orange County Jail and remanded to the custody of jail staff. 

Jail staff may recognize Joseph from previous intoxication arrests. The charges against him for his most recent arrest were enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor due to prior convictions. He was previously arrested in Orange in October 2013 for public intoxication after he was picked up reportedly smelling of an unknown alcoholic substance. A look into his criminal history revealed he was: convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2007 and sentenced to probation, which was revoked in 2008; convicted of theft and criminal trespass in 2013; and convicted of evading arrest and criminal trespass (again) in 2015. In January and in June, he was convicted of public intoxication with three prior convictions in Orange County. He was also convicted of possession of a controlled substance earlier this year.