A man has been hospitalized after rat poison was found in a Taco Bell customer’s takeout order, according to police.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says it has an “open and active investigation” into how rat poison ended up in a man’s burrito in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
“Right now what we’re looking at is if the rat poison was actually put into his food at the restaurant,” Sheriff Deputy John Bartmann said.
“We don’t know if it was, at this point in time.”
Bartmann added that the case is categorized as “criminal attempt homicide.”
Bartmann and the restaurant manager, Lary Swift, said the customer came into the restaurant around 1 pm on Sunday.
They said he argued with restaurant workers about the drink station not working and “wanted something free.”
Swift said the man is a regular customer who is known for causing problems with workers.
Swift said the man ordered three bean burritos and was given a fourth burrito free.
Bartmann said he ate the burrito around 7 pm.
He “became violently ill” shortly after eating the burrito and called 911.
He was taken to the hospital.
“That hospital said they had a patient who has possibly consumed rat poison in his food from the same restaurant,” said Bartmann.
Bartmann said enough rat poison was found in the burritos that “it would have been very serious to our victim’s health.”
Swift denied the allegation, however, saying:
“We don’t carry poison in the restaurant.
“We didn’t do anything like that.
“It didn’t even add up. It’s ridiculous.”
Taco Bell’s corporate communications told CBS:
“The safety of customers and team members is a priority.
“The franchisee who owns and operates this location has informed us that they are working with local authorities in their investigation.”
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says it has an “open and active investigation” into how the rat poison ended up in a to-go food order of a man who bought burritos. https://t.co/e3uIzV8CRj
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) January 18, 2023