Police charged a McDonald's worker from Iola, Kansas, after he allegedly spiked a deputy's drink with a peroxide-based cleaning solution on Sept. 12.
What are the details?
According to KOAM-TV, authorities charged Trevor Hockaday, 22, with one count of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer in connection with the alleged incident.
Hockaday was reportedly working at the Allen County McDonald's that day when a deputy pulled through the drive-thru to pick up take-out food.
A short time later, the unidentified officer began experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The station reported that Hockaday's charge is a level 3 person felony, and, if convicted, Hockaday could face anywhere from 55 months to 247 months, depending on previous criminal history.
The investigation is ongoing.
Glen Nichols, the store's manager, issued a statement on the arrest of his former employee.
"In our restaurants, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers," Nichols said. "We are very disappointed by the allegations made regarding the behavior of one of our former crew members.
"This kind of behavior goes against our food safety standards and is not tolerated," Nichols' statement continued. "Our organization will take all appropriate measures to gather facts and will work closely with authorities in their investigation."
What did the police chief say?
According to the Wichita Eagle, Iola Police Chief Jared Warner confirmed the report that the deputy's drink had been tainted.
Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy said that the unnamed deputy ordered a soft drink while in the drive-thru and later experienced the symptoms. The incident reportedly took place on one of the deputy's days off.
The department only discovered that the drink had been tainted when another McDonald's employee reportedly revealed the information to authorities, explaining that Hockaday put "four little squirts" of the cleaner into the deputy's drink before serving it to him.
"[The deputy] thought he caught the bug, but we found out two weeks later when an employee came forward and told the police department," Murphy explained.
Murphy went on to express his concern over the way police officers are treated nowadays.
"In today’s day and age, not only us in law enforcement but citizens as a whole, there’s enough going on out there that we have to worry about ... now my guys are cautious about going through that drive-thru," Murphy admitted. "We all chose this line of work to protect and serve. Now my guys have that concern of is my food safe."
There also appears to be an issue with McDonald's chain of communication, because Murphy revealed that when he contacted the regional office in Joplin, Missouri, he was told that the employee had initially been suspended after an internal investigation, but that law enforcement had never been contacted.
Kansas law says that contaminating "any food, raw agricultural commodity, beverage, drug, animal feed, plant, or public water supply" is considered a felony.
When questioned as to why McDonald's didn't contact authorities over the alleged incident, a spokesperson said that it was not their policy to do so.