Jared Loughner's Previous Contacts With Police Tell Tale of Substance Abuse, Possible Bullying, and Troubled Family Life

In an attempt to clear up any misconceptions that the Pima County Sheriff's Office had prior knowledge of death threats made by Jared Loughner -- accused of shooting 19 people, six of whom are dead, in Tucson over the weekend -- the Sheriff's Office released all the paperwork documenting its contact with the Loughner family dating back to 1994.

As the PCSO has maintained, in none of the documents does it show that Loughner was accused of making any death threats against anyone -- although, as noted by the PCSO, that doesn't mean death threats made by Loughner weren't reported to other law enforcement agencies.

In four separate incidents in which Loughner had contact with sheriff's deputies, he demonstrated bizarre behavior -- even when he was a victim -- to officers. Accounts of those incidents paint a picture of a substance-abusing, troubled kid who had a strained relationship with his father.

In a 2006 incident, the PCSO was called by the principal of the Mountain View High School who reported that Loughner was so drunk in school that he had to be taken to the Northwest Hospital Emergency Room. It was 9 a.m.

At the hospital, Loughner told police he'd been drinking vodka. A crying Loughner then told deputies he was drinking because he was upset his father had yelled at him.

During another incident, in 2004, a classmate of Loughner's pricked him with a pin while the two were in the school's cafeteria. Loughner, as described in the incident report, "became pale, got dizzy, could not stand, and had to be helped to the nurse's office by another friend."

Loughner's strange reaction to a seemingly minor injury only happened after a friend told him he was poked with the needle. Loughner said he wanted to discuss pressing charges against the student with his parents before filing any complaint.

Loughner's parents decided not to press charges against the other student but requested that he get an HIV test.

In a 2007 incident, Loughner and a friend were stopped by police as they were smoking pot in the friend's mini-van.

When a deputy asked if he could search him, Loughner told the deputy "he had a right to say no." Loughner never actually said no, though. He again told the officer he had a right to refuse the search, but never said the officer couldn't search him.

The officer writes in his report: "due to the vague answer, I decided not to push the situation any further."

In another incident, in October of 2008, Loughner called police to report that he suspected his identity had been stolen.

He told deputies he Googled himself and found his picture posted on a Web site called -- Loughner told the officer he suspected an old friend named "Alex" was responsible for posting it.

The deputy asked for more information on "Alex," like his address, and noted that Loughner "was slow to respond to my questions. He often hesitated as if he was trying to think of an explanation...I advised him that if he didn't know, then he could just say that and that was fine."

The deputy called a cell phone number for "Alex" provided by Loughner but got no answer.

Loughner told the deputy in a phone interview later that he had been in touch with "Alex" since filing the report. He says "Alex" had no idea what he was talking about.

Check back to Valley Fever throughout the day for further updates on the Tucson shooting.

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James King
Contact: James King

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