One Partygoer Made Wise Choice to Refuse a 'Bump'

Police unravel what led to overdoses in Pittsburgh apartment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2019 10:25 AM CDT
Updated Sep 29, 2019 12:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – Authorities in Pittsburgh say they've largely unraveled the story of how three men wearing orange wristbands ended up dead in a Pittsburgh apartment building last weekend. Authorities received help from a witness who made a possibly lifesaving choice in refusing to sniff white powder from a knife. The details:

  • The start: Police say things got started last Saturday night at the Insomnia Discotec, when one of the patrons there invited people—included members of the band—back to his apartment for a party, reports Trib Live. That's why everyone was wearing orange wristbands; they came from the nightclub.
  • The drugs: At the party, police say host Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo, 25, began bragging about money and produced a box of drugs, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He "cut into the narcotics and scooped out a large quantity of what the users believed was cocaine," per a criminal complaint. Montalvo allegedly made the rounds of the room, asking people to take a "bump" of the white powder off his knife. At that point, "people immediately began to drop," says the complaint.

story continues below

  • A witness: One man says he refused the bump and argued with Montalvo about it before fleeing the apartment, per investigators. Police say this witness provided a video of Montalvo serving up the drugs.
  • Victims: When police arrived, they found three people dead at the scene: Rubiel Clemente-Martinez, 32; Josue Soberal Serrano, 38; and Joel Pecina, 32. Three other men inside the apartment were brought to the hospital, with one in critical condition. A fourth overdose victim was found about two blocks away, though authorities haven't definitively linked him to the party yet. One of those who died is believed to have been a member of the band.
  • Fentanyl: Authorities think the drug ingested contained fentanyl or something similar, reports the Washington Post. Montalvo is in custody, charged with illegal distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury. He faces up to 140 years in prison, per the Post-Gazette.
(Read more Pittsburgh stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.