At the beginning of April 2022, there have been several dozen people declaring themselves victims of untimely injections in Lyon, given in a festive setting but also in transport. The phenomenon, which affects men and women, worries. No element except the body traces of bites can explain their origins. Rue89Lyon goes around what we know about these bites today.
“Victim of sting on the night of June 11 to 12! Share as much as possible 💉 “. On her Tiktok account, Élise testifies in several short videos, photos in support. She claims to have been bitten behind the leg during an evening in a nightclub, at the Loftclub in Lyon, last June.
Like her, on the social networks Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok, emerging testimonies since April 2022, often quickly taken up by various media in Lyon. Men and women say they have suffered “wild bites” in Lyon.
Some – but not all – are complicated by various and varied symptoms ranging from headaches to dizziness to blackouts. Others explain that they realized later that a red dot or hematoma was present on their body.
the first case known in Lyon dates back to April 2, during a concert at the Transbordeur (Villeurbanne). Since then, around forty complaints have been filed with the Lyon police, details the Lyon prosecutor’s office. Rue89Lyon has listed just over twenty cases declared via the media, some of which have led to a complaint. There may of course be other people who have not reported to the police.
Shots but no arrests, nor traces of drugs in Lyon
The phenomenon seems to affect men and women almost indiscriminately, especially in a festive context, in nightclubs, concert halls or bars. Several testimonies of stings in transport have also emerged, such as that of Nils Marzlofin several media.
The young man claims to have been stung near the metro around the Part-Dieu station, during a brief altercation with two men. He explains that he felt nothing at the time but realized the next day – supporting photos – that a trace of a bite had appeared on his arm, confirmed by doctors. But his toxicology tests came back negative and he didn’t experience any symptoms.
This case is a good illustration of the vagueness surrounding the phenomenon of “wild bites”. The victims, their testimonies, and physical traces of existing bites. But the elements of investigation are not more numerous. No syringe was found according to our information.
No suspect arrested or any toxicological trace was found in the blood and urine of those bitten, explains the Lyon prosecutor’s office.
At the national level, by mid-June, 800 complaints had been filed and 1,098 victims filed. A few people have been arrested but the police custody was lifted in the absence of incriminating evidence. The designated victims did not report acts of “sexual assault or theft following the sting”, confirmed the General Directorate of the National Police to AFP.
Stings in Lyon: a phenomenon difficult to pin down
From there, the question that arises is that of the motive or motivations of the possible perpetrators of the stings. A desire for “chemical submission” by injecting drugs, difficult to prove in the absence of assaults or thefts? The desire to create a psychosis by simply stinging without a drug injector or any product?
The negative results of all the toxicological analyzes questioned. Several hypotheses can explain it. The analyzes must be carried out within a few hours that control the injection to be able to decelerate a trace of drug, in particular with regard to GHB, and can therefore be done too late. Another explanation could be that the drug that would be injected is not the one sought in the toxicological tests. One can also imagine that syringes, or any other object used to prick, do not contain drugs.
In several media, specialists in the medical field and psychology have expressed themselves, named by Freeze frames. They noted in particular the almost second impossibility of injecting GHB, also called “date rape drug”, because it would require a large needle and an injection of about fifteen pain, accompanied by pain.
The case of HIV and hepatitis B and C
During a “wild sting”, the risk of exposure to HIV and both hepatitis B and C cannot be ruled out, because the syringe may have been used to sting several people. However, it seems very unlikely, and complicated to implement, that people seek to inject these diseases.
The General Directorate of Health recommends “going to the emergency room immediately to detect a blood exposure accident (AES)”. There is then an adapted and personalized care, which can go through a post-exposure treatment”. This treatmentprescribed by a physician, should be taken within 48 hours of monitoring exposure, then daily for a month, to prevent infection.
In Lyon as elsewhere, anxiety-provoking media recklessness
As soon as the first cases appeared in Lyon, the press relayed testimonies, treating them as news items and in the tone of sensationalism that goes with it. “A student infected with HIV after a savage injection at the Lyon Part-Dieu station? » or « GHB injections, new danger in the evenings? », are only two examples of the titles of articles published at the beginning of the phenomenon. Anxiogenic titles, when we did not yet know much.
Mid-May, thunderclap, France 3 recalls that a man was arrested in possession of a syringe and GBL (drug similar to GHB) at Ninkasi Gerland (Lyon 7th). Several local press titles are quick to relay and headline the found syringe. Except that the syringe is actually a pipette, without a needle, and was used for the personal consumption of the arrested man. The information is in the articles, but the titles are misleading.
Since then, articles have become more cautious and more precautions are taken. We now speak more readily of “suspicions” of bites. GHB and HIV have disappeared from the headlines and the difficulties in identifying the phenomenon are also mentioned.
A protocol being developed for the care of future victims
The local authorities take the subject seriously, even if the General Directorate of Health has not yet put in place a national strategy. The Lyon public prosecutor’s office explains to Rue89Lyon:
” Instructions [ont été données par le parquet] so that each of the complaints gives rise to the immediate opening of a criminal investigation with referral of the victim to the HCL to carry out toxicological analyses”.
actors, politicians, health and the night world, we have repeatedly said that a protocol was being put in place to stem the phenomenon as best as possible, and supported people who reported a case of injection.
The prefecture invites night establishments and their customers to refer to the prevention campaign received in March 2022, around GHB in night establishments. For their part, the concert halls claim to have reinforced the controls at the entrance to their places and the systems for taking care of potential victims. Difficult to know if this will help to stem this phenomenon so nebulous.