After consuming a Taco Bell meal allegedly poisoned with rats, a guy in Colorado was taken to the hospital, according to the authorities. Deputy John Bartmann, the public information officer for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, told USA TODAY on Wednesday that the investigation is still ongoing. Authorities are still trying to determine whether the man consumed rat poison and, if so, whether the restaurant’s food included the poison. According to Bartmann, the case is currently classified as a criminal attempt homicide.
According to Bartmann, the individual visited a Taco Bell in Aurora on Sunday afternoon, even though his identity was not made public. Around 1 p.m., officers were called to a verbal disturbance report at the restaurant’s drive-thru after the guy quarreled with staff members over a broken soda machine. Instead of the drink, the man requested a complimentary meal replacement. According to Lary Swift, the restaurant manager, who spoke to CBS Colorado, he received an extra burrito without charge.
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“When we arrived (at the Taco Bell), there was absolutely no illegal activity. Only a disgruntled customer fighting with the staff, “The man soon exited the eatery, Bartmann noted. However, at around 7:50 that evening, the sheriff’s office dispatch received a call from a nearby hospital. According to the hospital, one of their male patients “probably consumed rat poison,” Bartmann added.
According to deputies who arrived on the scene, the patient was the same man from the earlier incident at Taco Bell.
The man claimed to have had his Taco Bell meal at around 7 o’clock after watching some television and doing yard work at home. According to Bartmann, the man “immediately felt a scorching feeling and then started to get sick,” and that’s when he dialed 911 and was quickly taken to the hospital.
According to Bartmann, deputies who came to the hospital discovered “a greenish-gray substance” they could not identify in part of the food. Investigators then arrived at the Taco Bell restaurant to speak with staff members about additional information. In addition, the man gave detectives permission to search his home for further evidence and to remove the remaining food, according to Bartmann. Officials in charge of environmental and local health were also notified. Before reopening, the Taco Bell location had to throw away all of its food. According to Bartmann, the eatery had been briefly closed but is now open again.
Swift informed CBS Colorado that there was no poison on the premises. “We didn’t act in such a way. Nothing even added up.” In a statement delivered on Wednesday to USA TODAY, Taco Bell Corp. said, “Customer and team members’ safety comes first. The franchisee who owns and manages this business has told us they are collaborating with regional law enforcement on their inquiry.”
According to Bartmann, Taco Bell has provided the authorities with all of its CCTV footage, which prosecutors are still looking over. Depending on how the case develops, investigators keep the man’s meals in case it contains rat poison. According to Bartmann, the patient has been discharged from the hospital. He was unaware of his current state.
Experts emphasize how dangerous it is for humans to consume rat poison. According to the University of Kansas Health System, signs of poisoning might include bruising, hair loss, convulsions, bloody diarrhea, bleeding gums, and damage to the kidneys and other organs. Additionally, it could take a few days for symptoms to appear following exposure. The National Pesticide Information Centers warns that poisoning can result in death if not handled.
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