LAURELVILLE — A pot-laced piece of cake sent Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier to Berger Hospital in Circleville for a day-and-a-half after he unwittingly ate a pot-laced pastry that was left inside his home.
Beleaguered from visiting his daughter in the hospital after a major traffic accident, Berkemeier went home to rest, but instead of fixing himself a sandwich, he reached for a piece of cake he found sitting in a container on his kitchen counter.
Little did he know, but the cake was laced with a substantial amount of hash oil, a concentrated form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which produces the high associated with marijuana.
It’s believed the cake was left at his home by a friend of his second daughter. Although his daughter pleaded with her friend not to bring the pastry inside their home, those pleas were ignored, and the cake made its way into their kitchen.
When his daughter was hastily picked up from their home soon after hearing news of her sister’s accident, her friend also left the home, but forgot the pastry in the process.
So when Berkemeier traveled back home to Laurelville to rest after an exhausting day at the hospital with his injured daughter, he spotted the cake on the counter and promptly helped himself.
“I was on the phone with my daughter in the hospital, and I’m talking to her and I’m answering questions, but I’m not remembering what I just said. I’m going, ‘What is wrong me?’” Berkemeier said, explaining how he first knew something was wrong.
Believing that someone had poisoned him or placed something inside the ventilation system of his home, he walked outside to get some fresh air.
But the problem just kept getting worse.
“I’m sitting here thinking that I’m going crazy,” he said.
Berkemeier felt the need to get away from his home and be near people he trusted, so he drove his car five blocks to the Laurelville Police Department.
Once there, EMS transported him to Berger Hospital, where he remained for the next day-and-a-half while doctors and nurses performed a series of tests.
When asked by Berger staff members if he had eaten anything that day, Berkemeier couldn’t even remember eating the cake.
“I didn’t eat lunch. I said I had some cookies and milk last night before I went to bed. And I couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t even remember eating the cake,” he told The Logan Daily News in an interview earlier this week.
At Berger, Berkemeier’s fiancé, Vanessa Vara, asked if he had eaten the cake that was on the counter, and that’s when he recalled that he had. “But still, I didn’t think anything about it, because my first response was that it didn’t taste bad or anything. It didn’t taste rancid or anything. What am I supposed to think, you know?” he asked.
Vara then contacted their youngest daughter, who was still at the hospital with her sister in Columbus. When Vara asked her daughter where the cake came from, a scream was immediately heard over the phone.
“I could hear it from the hospital bed. I could hear it over my fiance’s phone. And then I thought, what is going on? She hangs up the phone and says it was the cake, get the nurse,” he said.
Once doctors realized what was wrong with him, they gave him a sedative and he slept off the effects until the next day when he was released.
“It was flat out the worst experience of my entire life,” he said, sitting behind his desk at the Laurelville Police Department. “I have never felt like I was going to die before. Not knowing what has happened to you and feeling like you have no control over what’s happening and not knowing what’s happened, is, I can’t even describe. It’s the most awful feeling in the world. I really didn’t think I was going to live to see the next day. And that’s the God’s honest truth.”