Birmingham, AL - Birmingham Police Sergeant Patrick Cosby went through the Arby's drive-through on the night of June 1, as he had done several times in the past. He took his food back to the department, sat down to eat, and then bit into his sandwich - and a one-inch metal bolt.
He spit the foot out, took a picture of the sandwich with the bolt inside, and sent it to his wife, who posted it on Facebook, with the following message: "ATTENTION LEO's in Birmingham AL and surrounding areas!! Someone at Arby's at 7th Ave S in Birmingham AL decided to add something extra to an officers sandwich!"
Sergeant Cosby spoke with Blue Lives Matter on Friday, and advised that when he went through the drive-thru, he was in full uniform. He was driving an unmarked Impala cruiser, but they have lights in the front and back, and are fairly easy to be seen as a police vehicle.
Sergeant Cosby said he went back to his department, sat down to eat, and bit into the sandwich and a inside of the sandwich one-inch metal bolt. He said that he spit the food out, took pictures of the sandwich with the bolt inside, and took the food back to the restaurant.
He said that he talked to the shift manager, whose name he couldn't remember, but who asked him why he brought the food back. So he showed her, and she gave him a full refund.
He said that the cook had a 'what's the deal' attitude, and that the shift manager told the cook to "not use any more of it because we've got to go through it." The sergeant said he wasn't sure what that meant but that shift manager was pointing to a certain area of the restaurant.
He said after his wife posted the message and picture to Facebook, that she called Arby's corporate office. She talked to someone there, who told her that it was 'one of the worst things reported,' and they should expect a call from the national office within 24 hours.
Sergeant Cosby filed a police report and contacted the DA. He said that he also filed a report with the Jefferson County Health Department.
He said that he "can't 100% say it was done intentionally," but he wonders how the food prepper could have missed it and the sandwich ended up with a uniformed officer. The bolt was actually lying on the bottom of the bun with the meat on top of it.
The sergeant said he has been with the BPD since 2004, and said that he had never seen anything like this before. He said that he eats at this Arby's "a pretty good bit."
Sergeant Cosby updated us and said that Arby's regional office called him on Saturday and told him that the bolt came off a cutter, and was not intentional. He said that he didn't buy it, and that the branch manager's statement was that they have a cutter that the bolt continuously falls out of.
Afterwards, Sergeant Cosby said that he then received a call from the Vice-President of guest services, who said the first person who called him should not have, and that someone from Legal and Liability would be contacting him.
On Monday, Sergeant Cosby got another call from Arby's management, and they said that it was not intentional. They told him that the bolt came off a cutter, and that they keep having to put it back in.
Sergeant Cosby said that he still doesn't understand how a bolt that large gets inside a sandwich without an employee knowing about it.
Arby's corporate has previously voiced their support for law enforcement in a prior incident saying, "Arby's fully supports the police officers who protect and serve our communities across the country. Further, we have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind." In that incident, the offending employee was immediately fired.
Based on the company's history, I'm inclined to believe that they would fire an employee who intentionally tampered with an officer's food and this doesn't reflect on them as a brand.
However, that still leaves the question: If a bolt keeps falling out next to food, then why hasn't anybody at least thought of using some Loctite? I'd be concerned eating at a place where management ignored safety issues.
I'll still eat at Arby's, I just might skip this Birmingham location.
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