Local man facing drug, indecent exposure charges

An Altoona man is in trouble after police say he ate psychedelic mushrooms and took off his pants.

James P. Laird, 34, of 323 Willow Ave., Apt. 4, allegedly walked out of his apartment building wearing nothing but a black T-shirt in front of responding Altoona police, who were called by a neighbor about 9 p.m. Saturday, according to court records.

Police said Laird sat down on some steps, and when officers asked what he was doing, he replied, “Just relaxing.”

Officers smelled alcohol on Laird but suspected he was on something else, a suspicion that was confirmed after officers saw a bag of psilocybin mushrooms in plain view in Laird’s apartment, where an officer had gone to retrieve a pair of pants.

When asked what they were, Laird tried to pronounce psychedelic but could only say “mushrooms,” according to police.

When asked how much of them he had eaten, Laird allegedly said, “A lot.”

Laird was taken to UPMC Altoona by ambulance and now faces charges of misdemeanor drug possession and indecent exposure as well as a summary charge of public drunkenness.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Sept. 17 at Central Court.