Bloomberg reports that a judge is expected to decide Tuesday on whether a jury will hear a tape of former Deutsche Bank investment banker Brian Mulligan talking about doing "bath salts."
U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles is scheduled to decide today, at the start of trial, whether the jury will hear a recorded conversation Mulligan had with a police officer, days before the alleged beating on May 15, 2012, in which he acknowledged using the drug, also known as White Lightning, at least 20 times in the preceding six months.
Mulligan, 54, a former vice chairman of media and telecommunications investment banking at Europe's largest investment bank by revenue, last year sued police officers James Nichols and John Miller, as well as the City of Los Angeles, seeking $20 million in damages over claims he was beaten so badly he required emergency facial surgery.
The back story here isn't exactly the sort of thing that scenes from "The Wolf of Wall Street" are made out of. Mulligan says that he was out and about one night trying to pick up gel capsules containing the active ingredient in pot but the medical marijuana dispensary didn't have any or something.
Note: This story gets much worse, so I won't dwell on the pot pills much. But, really, pot pills? That's what you people are doing with your kinda-sorta legal marijuana in California? If that's the way this legalization thing is going, I kind of see why it's only caught on in a few states.
The cops say they had 911 calls from a college campus nearby the dispensary about a guy fitting Mulligan's description. Which was, well, I dunno. Probably something like, older i-banking guy who looks like he really needs to get stoned. Your guess is as good as mine.
The cops say the calls were about a guy in a pink shirt and khakis trying to break into cars. They say that when they found Mulligan he was "disheveled," which is never a good sign. In my experience, you never want to look disheveled around police. But, also, it's really hard not to look disheveled if it's after 7 p.m. and you are still in khakis. Change into something appropriate for a night out.
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That's when things got weird.
Mulligan wasn't arrested. Instead, the cops brought him to a motel. Which is, well, something. I'm not really sure. Seems odd, no? Later, he and those same cops somehow had another encounter that ended with Mulligan roughed up pretty badly.
Here's Mulligan's side of the story, as told by Bloomberg:
By Mulligan's account, after Nichols and Miller found he wasn't intoxicated and wasn't committing a crime, they drove him in handcuffs to his car, which was parked near the dispensary.
After searching the car, the officers, who had refused to let Mulligan call his wife or a taxi, took him to a motel and told him to spend the night there, Mulligan alleges. One of the officers used an obscenity and told him he'd be "dead" if he left, according to the complaint.
But Mulligan didn't stay in the motel. He left the motel. The cops saw him and chased him. He ran. Mulligan says one of them hit him in the face with a baton hard enough that he later required facial reconstruction surgery. And then the same cop broke his shoulder blade while Mulligan was handcuffed and sitting on the curb, according to Mulligan.
The cops say that Mulligan left out a few details. They say that when they came across Mulligan the second time, he was dragging a garbage can across the street. You know, as one does. And when they told him to get out of the street, he tried to jump in a nearby minivan.
Bloomberg again on what the cops say happened next:
They said they chased Mulligan and that he took a "combative stance" and lunged at one of them. He continued to kick the officers after he had fallen to the ground, and was trying to spit at them and bite them, according to the officers' court filing.
At some point, apparently Mulligan talked to the officers about "white lightning," which is apparently a kind of drug called bath salts. Those, in turn, are the most humiliating drug to ever do. People buy them mail order and get arrested doing crazy things on them.
Kids do them and then put up online videos. Glue sniffers look down on bath salt users. If you are doing a lot of bath salts, you don't really need something horrible to happen to let you know you've hit rock bottom. Doing bath salts is rock bottom.
It's worse, even, than trying to make your getaway in a minivan while clad in khakis.
Wall Street survived the financial crisis, Bernie Madoff and Dodd-Frank. But if young, avaricious kids start associating it with bath salts, the game is up.
—By CNBC's John Carney. Follow him on Twitter @Carney