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police & fire

Reckless Hudson Valley Driver Drank 'Catnip Cocktail,' Police In NJ Say

Joseph Donofrio
Joseph Donofrio Photo Credit: Wayne Police

A reckless Westchester driver was under the influence of a "catnip cocktail," said police in New Jersey who arrested him.

Joseph Donofrio, 35, of Valhalla made the "extremely dangerous maneuver" of cutting across several lanes of southbound Route 23 in Wayne, NJ, making a left, then speeding recklessly up a local road past a police patrol car Saturday night, township Detective Capt. Laurence Martin said.

Clark stopped the driver, who Martin said had "slurred speech and jerky hand movements" while claiming he was headed to a local hospital.

Backup officers found an unidentified passenger holding a bottle of the cocktail, which was labeled "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION,” Martin said.

It's actually a prescription anxiety medication/mood enhancer for dogs and cats, he said.

Donofrio "admitted making the passenger hold the plastic bottle as he was being stopped and admitted drinking the substance," the captain said.

He wasn't sure how much or when, Martin said.

After failing a field sobriety test, Donofrio was arrested on DWI and inhaling toxic chemical charges. He also received traffic summonses and was released to a responsible adult pending a court hearing.

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