Three Restaurant Employees Arrested After Tampering With Deputies' Dinners
Okeechobee, FL – Three teenage restaurant employees are in custody after they spit into food they were preparing for two uniformed deputies at Highway 55 Restaurant on Saturday night.
The incident occurred when the two on-duty Okeechobee County sheriff’s deputies stopped for dinner on April 27, according to a press release from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s department said that an anonymous person alerted the owners of the restaurant to the fact the food was tampered with after the incident occurred.
The restaurant’s owners immediately checked the surveillance footage from their kitchen and saw the three employees spitting in the meals intended for the deputies, according to the press release.
They fired the employees on the spot and contacted the Okeechobee City Police Department.
The restaurant’s owners were “quite upset” and have cooperated fully with the police investigation of the incident, according to the sheriff’s department press release.
Okeechobee City Police Detective Bettye Taylor and Bill Saum investigated the allegations and reviewed the video.
As a result of their investigation, 16-year-old Molly Spearow and 17-year-olds Alex Armstrong and Logan Pope were arrested and charged with the Florida Anti-Tampering Act - Food, a first-degree felony, and battery on a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony, according to the sheriff’s department’s press release.
The three suspects, who are all high school students, were transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
"There is no excuse for actions such as this and will not be tolerated,” Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel E. Stephen said in a statement.
The deputies who were given the contaminated food were contacted and thus far, no medical treatment has been required, according to Michele Bell, the sheriff’s department’s public information officer.