Synthetic drugs suspected in gruesome attack - FOX 13 News

Synthetic drugs suspected in gruesome attack

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Nick Sorace, 54, a resident of St. Petersburg's affluent Yacht Club Estates, knew all along his attacker had problems.

"He was just screaming and yelling about Jesus Christ and the devil and you know…this guy was out of his mind, out of his mind," Sorace said. Nonetheless, "Somebody like that is such a menace to society he should be put away for a really long time."

St. Petersburg police identify Sorace's assailant as 18-year-old Brandon Davis, who lives with his parents and three siblings a few doors away.

Sorace says around 2 a.m. Sunday, he heard a commotion and looked out a window, where he saw a man beating a dog.

"He thought the dog was the devil, and then the next thing he sees is me, illuminated -- and all of a sudden, I'm the devil," he said.

Davis allegedly kicked in Sorace's front door, chased a woman in the house out a back door, then came back inside.

"I had a baseball bat and I hit him twice, and it didn't do anything to stop him," Sorace recalled Tuesday. "And he mauled me like a bear would attack somebody."

Sorace suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and a lot of cuts and lacerations, allegedly from the attacker's teeth.

"He broke a flower pot over my head, he was sticking me in the neck with pieces...he stuck his thumb all the way in my eye socket and he just ripped my mouth and he bit my face. He was chewing, he chewed my hands..." Sorace said.

St. Petersburg Police spokesman Michael Puetz said it took several officers to pull Davis off Sorace and control him.

"We had to utilize our Taser, and he managed to bite one of the officers on the hand," Puetz said.

Puetz confirmed the assailant may have been under the influence of one of several synthetic drugs, such as spice or bath salts.

"We're probably going to have to see what the medical tests at the hospital indicate, that might give us a clue as to what exactly he was on," Puetz said.

Tuesday afternoon, Davis was reported under heavy sedation at Bayfront Medical Center. He is charged with, but not yet booked for, attempted second degree murder, burglary-assault, and resisting arrest with violence.

All are serious felonies, yet there is no evidence of a troubled past. Gretchen and Chris Donaldson live next door to the suspect and told FOX 13 News they are shocked by the incident.

Describing the teen, Chris Donaldson said "Typical 18-year old, trying to figure out what he's going to do with his life." His wife added "Polite, sweet, loving, well-accomplished, just like the family, just like the rest of their kids- He is a good, good kid."

The Donaldsons want their own children to learn from this ordeal.

"The one time you experiment could be that time that really messes up your life," Chris Donaldson pointed out.

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