Bakersfield, CA – A McDonald’s employee who recently lost a lawsuit against the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) has been arrested for allegedly tampering with an officer’s meal while working at the fast-food restaurant.
Tatyana Hargrove, 21, was arrested by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) on Friday, The Bakersfield Californian reported.
According to investigators, Hargrove allegedly tampered with a uniformed BPD’s officer’s order on Nov. 12, the New York Post reported.
Managers at the Bakersfield McDonald’s restaurant became aware of the incident as they were reviewing security footage from inside the business.
They turned the incriminating footage over to KCSO.
According to investigative reports, the video showed Hargrove wiping the uniformed officer’s hamburger bun on the restaurant floor before she spit on it and served it to him, KGET reported.
She now faces a felony charge of mingle harmful substance with food or drink, and her bail was set at $10,000.
“I want to ensure our customers and law enforcement that the behavior exhibited by the individual involved in this incident does not represent my values nor those of my McDonald’s business,” restaurant owner Jim Abbate said, according to the New York Post.
“When we found out about this disturbing incident, we quickly notified the police,” Abbate added. “We are cooperating with their investigation and want law enforcement to know they are always welcome at McDonald’s.”
The BPD said that that the officer involved in the incident was also involved in Hargrove’s failed lawsuit against the department, The Bakersfield Californian reported.
The lawsuit stemmed from an altercation that occurred on June 18, 2017, according to KGET.
Bakersfield police were searching for a man who allegedly brandished a machete outside a local grocery store when they spotted Hargrove riding her bike in the area.
Bakersfield Police Officer Christopher Moore said that he initially believed Hargrove was a male, and that she matched much of the description that had been provided regarding the armed suspect.
The suspect was described as a “black male, white shirt, carrying a pink backpack,” Officer Moore said, according to KGET.
According to the lawsuit, Officer Moore drew his duty weapon and ordered Hargrove to hand over her backpack.
She refused, and demanded to know if the officers had a warrant.
Another officer stepped in to detain Hargrove as she straddled her bicycle, but she interlaced her fingers behind her head, KGET reported.
She also allegedly kicked at the officers, according to KGET.
When the officer grabbed onto her hands, he tripped and fell to the ground, Officer Moore wrote in his incident report.
Hargrove then fell on top of the officer who was trying to detain her, at which point Officer Moore deployed his K9.
Hargrove was bitten by the K9 and taken into custody on charges of interfering with a police dog, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest.
Approximately an hour later, officers learned that the suspect they had been searching for was a bald male who stood approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds, KGET reported.
Hargrove was 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighed 120 pounds, according to the New York Post.
The machete-wielding suspect was later apprehended by police, KBAK reported.
The BPD later said that the incident with Hargrove stemmed from a case of mistaken identity, The Bakersfield Californian reported.
Then-Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green ultimately dismissed the criminal charges against Hargrove, and said that both the suspect and the officers handled the altercation poorly, according to KGET.
Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin agreed, and apologized to Hargrove and her family, The Bakersfield Californian reported.
In her lawsuit, Hargrove claimed that the officers ripped her off of her bike, threw her to the ground, and punched her in the face before they deployed the K9.
She alleged that the officers used excessive force and violated her civil rights, and requested that the court award her compensatory and punitive damages.
The Bakersfield chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) backed Hargrove in her lawsuit, and claimed that the incident was racially motivated.
On Oct. 18, a federal jury in Fresno rendered a verdict in favor of the city, and refused to award Hargrove damages, KGET reported.
She subsequently waived her right to appeal the jury’s decision in exchange for the city agreeing not to seek repayment of its legal fees.