Studies have shown that people on cocaine can suffer from numerous psychiatric conditions, including paranoia – the feeling that someone is out to get you. Paranoid people will sometimes watch anyone and everyone around looking for those who want to do them harm. But Arturo Rivera-Garcia, a 23-year-old from Gualala, showed recently that the effects of cocaine on him, at least the dosage he took, made him anything but paranoid.
On Saturday afternoon, October 25 around 5:20 pm, Rivera-Garcia was driving through Boonville, about 40 miles from his home in coastal Gualala. Boonville is one of the small inland communities of Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley, with a population of around 1000. It is also home to the Mendocino County Fairgrounds, and is the home to annual beer, wine, and music festivals, along with the county fair.
Arturo Rivera-Garcia’s drivers license had been suspended recently due to a DUI arrest. Despite that fact, and that he was carrying cocaine, he made no attempt to be inconspicuous as he cruised through Boonville, playing his car stereo really loud. The beats brought the attention of a patrol deputy, who followed him down Highway 128 towards the center of town.
Rivera-Garcia parked in front of Pic-N-Pay Market, and the deputy approached him regarding his excessively loud stereo. When the driver was identified as Rivera-Garcia, the deputy learned of his suspended license, and conducted an additional search of the car, finding a zip lock bag with a quarter gram of cocaine, which was verified in a field test. Based on the evidence and Rivera-Garcia’s behavior, the deputy also administered a field test on him, and found the 6’5″, 180 pound man to be under the influence, most likely of the cocaine he was carrying.
Rivera-Garcia was booked at the Mendocino County Jail on charges of possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance, and driving with a suspended license. Bail was set at $10,000.00. But he got away with no more than a warning about playing his music too loud, especially when he wants to just blend in. Perhaps he is living by the philosophical idea he recently posted on his Facebook page, which reads in part “Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”