The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says it has an “open and active investigation” into how rat poison ended up in the food order of a man who bought a burrito Sunday at a Taco Bell restaurant in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Brian Maas of CBS Colorado reports.
“We are now looking into whether rat poison was actually added to his food at the restaurant. We don’t know if it was at this point,” Deputy Sheriff John Bartman said, adding that the case is classified as “attempted murder.”
Bartman and restaurant manager Larry Swift told CBS Colorado that a male customer entered the restaurant around 1 p.m. Sunday and argued with restaurant workers about his order.
Swift said the man was upset that the restaurant’s drink wasn’t working and “wanted something free.” Swift said the man was arguing with employees and other customers at the restaurant. She said the man is a regular visitor who has caused problems before. On one occasion, she said, he threw a taco at an employee.
Swift said he ordered three bean burritos and got the fourth burrito free.
Bartman said the man ate food at the restaurant around 7 p.m. and became “very sick” and called 911. He was taken to an area hospital.
“This hospital said they had a patient who may have consumed rat poison from the same restaurant,” Bartman said.
Bartmann declined to identify the man, but said enough rat poison was found in the burrito that “it would have been very serious for our victim’s health.”
Deputies closed the restaurant on Sunday evening.
Swift said police returned and said “someone had been poisoned” at the diner.
“We don’t carry poison in the restaurant,” she said. “We didn’t do anything like that. It didn’t even come up. It’s ridiculous.”
Swift said the restaurant turned over surveillance video to Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office investigators, and the sheriff’s office said it is reviewing the video as well as other evidence collected.
CBS Colorado reached out to Taco Bell corporate communications via email, but did not immediately hear back.
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