A former McDonald’s worker has been ordered to stand trial on a felony charge of willfully poisoning food after she allegedly spit on a hamburger before serving it to a police officer.
The worker, Tatyana Hargrove, 22, was arrested last November in Bakersfield, California, and is due in court March 23.
She is accused of rubbing a hamburger bun on the floor of the restaurant and then spitting in it while preparing an order for a uniformed police officer using the drive-thru, KGET-TV reported.
Hargrove also allegedly shouted, “Black lives matter” and “f*** the pigs!” during the incident.
The investigating officer, Deputy Carly Snow, testified that Hargrove admitted to yelling the insults because she knew the burger was going to be served to a police officer, according to testimony from a preliminary hearing.
The officer who was served and shouted at reportedly did not become ill from eating the burger.
During the preliminary hearing, Hargrove’s attorney, Lexi Blythe argued that there is insufficient evidence to prove her client willfully mingled poison or harmful substances with food, as the felony charge requires.
Blythe said that it’s unknown when the last time chemical cleaning products were used on the floor and that Hargrove’s back was turned away from the surveillance camera when the alleged crime was committed.
The prosecutor in the case, Gina Pearl, argued that another McDonald’s employee heard Hargrove drawing saliva into her mouth while she prepared the order, and that Hargrove can be seen wiping her mouth afterward, according to surveillance video.
When asked if saliva can be considered a harmful substance, Pearl said, “My position is saliva is absolutely a harmful substance. Look [at] what’s going on in the world right now with coronavirus,” according to Bakersfield.com.
Prior to the November 2019 incident, Hargrove claimed to be the victim of police brutality in a lawsuit filed against the Bakersfield Police Department in 2017. The suit went to a trial but the jury ultimately sided with the police department.