Family tells Four Loko ordeal to Action News
PHILADELPHIA - November 18, 2010 (WPVI) -- A Paoli family wanted to come forward to share their terrifying ordeal because they wanted to warn others about what Four Loko and other drinks mixing alcohol and caffeine can do.
In Action News' exclusive interview, they talk about how it turned an ordinarily quiet young man into a rage filled violent person against his own family.
"What I thought my son was drinking was juice. When I came home, it was not juice and it turned him into something that I never want to see again," Perry Clarke told Action News.
Last Friday night, Kim and Perry Clarke were at home with their 21-year-old son Tyreek who was drinking what has become the latest craze among many young 20-somethings: The alcohol energy drink Four Loko.
"It's kind of like the perfect party favor, you know," Tyreek told Action News. "It wasn't expensive."
But after drinking one and a half cans of the stuff, Clarke's demeanor began to change. Suddenly Clarke began breaking things. In the midst of it all, Kim Clarke accidentally dialed Action News Health Reporter Ali Gorman's voicemail which documented part of the violent incident: "He pushed the door, kicked the door I don't know exactly and the window shattered."
After breaking the glass panel on the storm door, he broke the mailbox and then went after his mother's car.
"I lost my composure and put my hand thru a windshield," Tyreek said, "Kind of cut my hand open a bit on the palm."
"We as a family were trying to get him to calm down, 'Tyreek, let's just talk about it?'" Kim said she implored to here son. "It was just like no reasoning with him at all."
Finally, Tyreek walked off and went to stay at his brother's house for the weekend. Now, he says, he's embarrassed by his behavior.
Four Loco is just one of about 30 such drinks mixed with alcohol and caffeine that are now coming under scrutiny by the FDA after a number of incidents, including at least one death in Florida.
"They need to get rid of it," said Kim. "There's no rhyme or reason to have caffeine and alcohol mixed together."
"Kids are getting hurt behind this, families are getting hurt behind this so what are we waiting for?" asked Perry. "Take it off the market."
pennsylvania, alcohol, fda, philadelphia, local/state
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