FAIRFIELD, NJ — After a recent encounter with a 40-year-old Kenilworth man who was found to be in possession eight bottles of “Catnip Cocktail,” the Fairfield Police Department is warning the community about an increase in the misuse of this product.

Police described Catnip Cocktail as a liquid that is should be strictly used to sedate cats and should not to be consumed by humans. However, over the last six months, Fairfield police have experienced two cases in which individuals were acting extremely irrationally and incoherently and required immediate medical attention after consuming the product.

Most recently, on the afternoon of Nov. 1, a concerned citizen reported that an individual was driving erratically on Route 46 in Fairfield, according to police. Fairfield officers stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Richard Mazza, who police said was extremely confused, totally unaware of his surroundings and unable to answer simple questions.

Sign Up for E-News

When Officer R.J. Casendino began conducting field sobriety tests, he determined that Mazza was under the influence of some substance because he was unable to perform them. Mazza was placed under arrest, and further investigation revealed eight bottles of Catnip Cocktail in his vehicle.

While at headquarters, police said Mazza began yelling obscenities and high-pitched screams. He was eventually charged with driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a breath test and driving under the influence in a school zone.

According to police, Mazza’s behavior was considered so bizarre that he was transported to a local hospital.

“Because this product is not yet listed as a controlled dangerous substance, the prosecutor’s office has not been able to authorize criminal charges for either its possession or use,” said Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna. “We are making the public aware of the increased misuse of this extremely dangerous product to hopefully curtail others from doing it.”

Manna added that the police department intends to work diligently with county, state and federal legislators and law enforcement officials to have this product listed as a controlled dangerous substance in order to “take away the loophole that currently exists in the law preventing criminal charges.”