According to New Jersey authorities, a Starbucks barista has been arrested after he admitted that he spit in beverages ordered by police officers.
21-year-old Kevin Trejo was charged with subjecting a law enforcement officer to contact with a bodily fluid, tampering with a cup of coffee ordered by a police officer, and creating a hazardous or dangerous condition.
Other workers at the Starbucks in Bergen were reportedly not involved in the incident, and a spokeswoman for the chain said that Trejo has been fired from his job. According to the Chief of Police of Park Ridge, Joseph Madden, Trejo was ”arrogant enough to be bragging about it” when he was questioned by law enforcement after the incident.
Park Ridge Police Lieutenant James Babcock said that the police were told that Trejo had done this repeatedly with different officers who came into the Starbucks, although Trejo claims that he only did it once. An investigation carried out by Starbucks officials and the police found evidence of the disgusting act. On this occasion, it is believed that somebody caught him spitting into the drink.
A Starbucks spokesperson said: “We want everyone who comes into our stores to receive a positive experience and when that doesn't occur, we move quickly to address it and hold ourselves accountable. We will continue to support Park Ridge Police in their investigation and have a deep respect for the Park Ridge Police Department and the officers who help keep our partners and communities safe.”
Spitting in someone's beverage is disgusting under the best of circumstances, but it takes on an even more ominous tone in the age of coronavirus. If the barista had been infected, he could have placed the officer and all those he comes into contact with at risk of developing the deadly disease. Multiple police officers are being tested for COVID-19 as a precaution because the department is finding it difficult to identify which officers could have been exposed.
The president of the police union of New Jersey, Patrick Colligan, said: "Every time I think we as society hit bottom, there is a new incident. Officers risk their lives daily, it shouldn't be while getting coffee."
This type of behavior is nothing new, but it’s a growing problem at a time when anti-police sentiment is soaring to new heights.
A McDonald's employee was recently sentenced to 45 days in jail and 100 hours of community service after being arrested for spitting on food that a Bakersfield police officer ordered. She was seen on surveillance video wiping a hamburger bun on the floor and then spitting on a cheeseburger while preparing food ordered by the officer at the drive-through. The 21-year-old also allegedly shouted “black lives matter” and called officers “pigs.” Thankfully, the officer who ate the burger did not get sick.
In another case, an employee of Dunkin' Donuts admitted to spitting in a police officer's coffee. The officer discovered “balled-up spit” in his beverage after noticing that something was “off” about it when he began drinking it.
According to his attorneys, the officer suffered from concerns about his health after the incident, including undergoing testing for HIV and other illnesses. Although the man responsible claimed he did not target the officer, who was wearing plain clothes at the time, the police officer’s attorneys believe he was targeted and say that he had visited the donut shop in uniform on many previous occasions.
Regardless of how a person might feel about the actions of an individual officer, police as a whole serve to protect us and deserve our respect. These fast food workers are tampering with the food and drinks of the same officers they would likely call if they were held up at gunpoint. This type of behavior is absolutely vile, and restaurant workers who put their patrons’ health at risk, whether they are cops or not, should be held accountable. See StarbucksWatch.news for more stories about Starbucks.
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