Note: There is a picket against bath salts in Batavia scheduled for tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 400 Ellicott St.
Nicole Lang said today she had no idea what bath salts did to people when her son was still running The Laughing Buddha on Ellicott Street, Batavia.
Her son, 28-year-old Jason Lang, allegedly sold bath salts at that location and last week Nicole Lang went to the new head shop (named 420 Emporium) on Ellicott Street and demanded that the store stop selling bath salts to her son.
The confrontation led to Nicole being issued an appearance ticket for alleged trespass, and the news reports of that event led to several people in the community to ask why Nicole Lang wasn't confronting Jason when he was allegedly selling the synthetic cocaine/methamphetamine.
"I never seen how bad the drug was," Nicole said. "I guess you really don't understand it until you see a person who is on it.
"He shouldn’t have sold it," she added. "And now this is his punishment because his life is just about shot."
Within the past several weeks, Jason Lang has been arrested for allegedly calling the landlord of 420 Emporium and impersonating a State Police "detective"; he's been charged with falsely reporting an incident for allegedly calling emergency dispatchers and reporting shots fired at a local hotel; and, he's reportedly made several other calls to emergency dispatchers reporting things that turned out to be unfounded (but no charges were filed related to those calls).
Today, Jason Lang was supposed to appear before Justice Tom Williams in Town of Batavia Court on the false impersonation charge, but Lang's attorney Edward Martin told WIlliams that because the date of the case had been moved, his client didn't know about today's scheduled appearance.
Williams accepted the explanation and agreed to postpone Lang's appearance until Aug. 21.
About two hours before Jason's scheduled appearance, Lang called The Batavian's Howard Owens to talk about his situation.
During the 20-minute phone call, Lang acknowledged that he had a court appearance scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Town of Batavia and said that he would be there.
When we attempted to ask Martin about this apparent discrepancy, as Martin rushed to his car, he said, "What do you want me to tell you? What my client said to me?" He then jumped in his car, slammed the door and refused to take the business card of another reporter.
As soon as Martin drove off, Jason Lang called Owens again and wanted to confirm that his attorney had been able to reschedule his court appearance.
Lang said he wanted to meet with Owens.
Within three minutes, he was in the court parking lot talking with Owens and WHAM 13's Sean Carroll.
The reason Lang didn't appear in court today, he said, is "because my attorney knew I had more important things to do."
He then asked that we not disclose the nature of his other business today.
During the morning phone call, Lang was talking very fast about a wide range of conspiracies that tie in the federal government, state police, specific local police officers, the Chinese government and "every important person in Genesee County."
He believes he knows too much about what's really going on in Genesee County related to bath salts and that his life is in danger.
He said the State Police have been monitoring his every move, including placing cameras in VCRs and other electronic devices because they're making a documentary about bath salts.
He said it is either an FBI agent or State Police internal affairs investigator who first got him hooked on bath salts.
He said he has porno films that have "bogus" FBI warnings at the beginning saying the films were made in California, but that the actors in the films are all "the most important people in Genesee County."
Nicole Lang said when her son is on bath salts, he talks fast and rambles on about conspiracies.
"We don't really know what he's talking about. He says, 'please don't think I'm crazy. I'm going to solve this puzzle.' He says, 'Bath salts made me brilliant. I’ve learned everything about everybody.' "
A year ago, Lang seemed to be doing pretty well for himself and Nicole said she was proud that her son was making a good living running his own businesses.
His twin brother, she said, decided to get an education and is now in a doctorate program, but she said Jay wanted to prove he could make something of himself just through hard work rather than getting an advanced education.
But when Lang decided to open a store that was part head shop and part tattoo parlor, that's when things started to go wrong.
"When he told us he was opening we told him, 'no, you don’t need that you’re doing good,' " Nicole Lang said. "The Laughing Buddha is the most evil thing that ever happened because that’s where everything started, at The Laughing Buddha, and that’s where everything went downhill."
All that Lang once had, she said, has been replaced by a pile of bills and bankruptcy for Lang seems inevitable.
Asked if Jason is a threat to the community, Nicole said he could be, but said she believes he would never intentionally hurt anybody. He's a bigger threat to himself, she said.
The day Nicole went to the 420 Emporium, she said she had spent the afternoon with him in a cemetery where he prayed for God to take his life.
"He said, 'just come to shoot me now because I’m not going to commit suicide, because I want to go to heaven and see my children some day.'
"One of these days, one of these days he is going to be dead," Lang's mother added. "Or he's going to wind up in prison for the rest of his life because he’s under the influence, and really, it’s not even him. He’s a good person. Right now he’s so messed up, it’s not Jason."
The protest planned for tomorrow, though, isn't just about Jason.
"I’m not just trying to save him," his mother said. "There are so many people. There are his kids and there are other kids. This is just such a horrible drug right now. This is a awful drug."
Her son, at least today, agrees.
He supports making bath salts illegal he said and doesn't believe others should use it.
"I apologize to the community," Jason said. "I think bath salts in general can screw up a lot of people's lives. People don’t trust you anymore, you lose friends, you lose finances, just like any other drug. What I can assure you though is that through this whole thing, I've kept my sanity."
Later in the same conversation, he said, "They (bath salts) are dangerous. They’re dangerous. It’s something you don’t want to mess with, just like other drugs. One thing I’ve learned about bath salts is they kind of get a grip on you more than any other drugs."
"I would like to make a public apology," he added, "to the police, to anybody I’ve caused grief to, any thing that has gone on that’s been a negative side to it; however, I did learn a lot of really interesting things from it. If there’s somebody out there who could help me in that sense, that would be awesome."