Birmingham police announced Wednesday they’re investigating reports that female patrons of a downtown bar were drugged, following a viral social media post from a woman making the allegation.
The department said in a press release that investigators had “received reports indicating that female patrons may have been drugged while drinking at the Rose Room.”
The owners of the Rose Room, 220 E. Merrill St., also took to social media to deny the claim.
Detectives are looking into the allegation, the release said. Also in the release, Police Chief Mark Clemence denied a claim made on Facebook that his officers told the alleged victim they couldn’t help her after she made her accusation.
“The community has been asked to share their experiences or any information they may have regarding this matter,” the release said.
The probe was launched following a Facebook post by a woman whose screen name is Michaela Lillie, who claimed she was drugged when she visited the bar March 13.
“After about 2 drinks in, a few of us began to lose feeling in our arms and legs, could not speak without slurring and soon after blacked out completely,” she wrote. “It took about 48 hours for 2 of my friends to feel somewhat normal again and some are still feeling off a week later.
“We decided to look at the reviews of this bar, and saw how many people have left reviews about the SAME thing happening to them,” Lillie wrote.
Attached to her post were multiple screen shots of what Lillie said were reviews from people going back two years also alleging they’d been drugged at the bar, and text messages from others making the same claim.
A phone call to the Rose Room Wednesday was not answered. The bar denied the allegations in a Monday Facebook post.
“Although we have not received any direct reports of anything like this ever happening at the Rose Room, we take these claims very seriously,” the post said. “There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, and we condemn all forms of sexual harassment and assault.”
The post said bar management interviewed the employees who were working March 13, “and we have no indication that the claims being repeated through social media are true.”
Lillie claimed in her Facebook post: “Birmingham Police has been contacted, but we were told there was nothing they could do about it.”
Clemence denied the claim.
“The Birmingham Police Department takes these allegations very seriously and at no time did we receive reports regarding this and indicate nothing could be done,” he said in the statement. “I want the community to know that we will do everything in our power to solve this investigation and ensure those who dine in Birmingham are safe.”
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