Update below: Most of us don't need to be told not to take hallucinogens before going rock climbing. But apparently Jon Schuttenberg is an exception to this rule. Rescuers called to help him and a buddy as they headed to the First Flatiron found them endangered mainly by their loopy behavior, which presumably was enhanced by the psilocybin mushrooms found in Schuttenberg's pocket.
Boulder County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Brough, who also filled us in about the fire at St. Malo Retreat Center, provides details about Schuttenberg and buddy Daniel Costaninou, two 25-year-olds visiting from St. Charles, Missouri.
"We got a 911 call on Friday -- and it sounds like it was from one of them," Brough says. "They had started hiking up the trail by the First Flatiron and they got into a position where they couldn't get down. So sheriff's officers, paramedics from Pridemark and members of Rocky Mountain Rescue were dispatched, and as they met up by the Bluebell Shelter, they had people coming down the trail telling them there were two guys up there acting very bizarre. One of them had taken off his coat, his shirt and his shoes; the only thing he was wearing was a pair of jeans."
It didn't take long for the would-be rescuers to find the pair, and in the incident report, they reinforce the impression of the other witnesses that Schuttenberg and Costaninou were acting very weird indeed. "The officers could tell they were under the influence of something," Brough notes. "And then they found something in the coat pocket of the one who was still wearing a coat" -- Schuttenberg -- "and did a presumptive test that came back positive for psilocybin mushrooms."
Said shrooms are considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. So after the pair received a medical clearance at a nearby hospital, Schuttenberg was arrested for possession.
Brough doesn't think Schuttenberg was ever on the brink of death due to his choice of snacks. "They were still on the trail," he says. "They hadn't actually done any climbing yet." But had they made it to the rocks in mid-freak out, he believes things could have gotten a lot worse: "Anytime you're up in the mountains and you're not familiar with the area, you shouldn't be under the influence of intoxicants, whether it be alcohol or drugs."
After all, he continues, "there are all kinds of possible dangers involved, be it from animals, other people and just mother nature itself."
Not from those natural mushrooms, probably -- but maybe from a natural cliff.
Update, 11:49 a.m. November 16: Our friends at the Boulder Daily Camera have shared more wacky details about the Jon Schuttenberg case. According to the paper, Schuttenberg's companion, ID'd by the Boulder County Sheriff's Office as Daniel Costaninou, had stripped down to his jeans despite the presence of ice and snow on the trail and was acting crazy, passersby said -- and that behavior reportedly continued after rescuers tried to remove him from the trail. He had to be taken down the trail in a pram.
Schuttenberg was more cooperative, and more confused, allegedly repeating the phrase "I don't understand what's going on." He also claimed not to know that mushrooms were in his coat pocket. But Costaninou told deputies a different tale. He said Schuttenberg gave him mushrooms and some advice: "Take some. They're good for you."
Not in this instance, they weren't. Here's Schuttenberg's mug shot.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Joseph Conway's bad trip: He allegedly freaks out on LSD, gets pepper-sprayed on highway."
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