MEDFIELD, Mass. — Police in Medfield have filed criminal charges against a Starbucks worker for allegedly spitting into a police officer’s coffee cup.
Norfolk Police Sgt. Eric Van Ness claims he was served a tainted coffee on the morning of Wednesday, May 25 at the Medfield Starbucks on Main Street. Van Ness says he was dressed in his police uniform after appearing in Wrentham District Court earlier that morning.
Van Ness says he noticed a female Starbucks employee holding “a drink cup very close to her mouth.” The officer says he believes she then “spit into the cup.” After making the drink in the same cup, she called out the officer’s name and put that cup on the counter.
The officer says he never accepted the drink nor drank from the cup. He instead notified a store manager of what he believed happened and called Medfield Police.
The incident has resulted in Medfield police filing criminal charges against the 30-year-old barista, Kaitlyn Todd.
“I think my client was targeted because he wears a uniform,” said George Papachristo, an attorney representing Officer Van Ness.
Boston 25 News obtained a video of the incident. It shows Todd working at the station with two cups. She places one down on the counter, it contains a brown fluid, turns her back and works with a second cup. When she returns to the first cup, she briefly lifts it to her face, before lowering it and emptying the contents of the first cup into the second.
Reporter Bob Ward: “When we look at that video, what are we seeing?”
Papachristo: “I believe that we are seeing what my client has described in his complaint, and to the police, that this woman is spitting into his drink.”
Starbucks tells Boston 25′s Bob Ward the video shows the normal preparation of the drink and that the barista was double-checking to make sure she didn’t forget to include an ingredient.
Back on May 25, the day of the incident, the store manager told the police officer, the barista was perhaps smelling the coffee.
Starbucks said in a statement, “We are aware of an allegation made by a Norfolk Police Officer that his drink was tampered with. We immediately moved to investigate but found the claims to be unsubstantiated. At Starbucks, we have a deep respect for the law enforcement officers who keep our partners and communities safe. Everyone should expect a welcoming experience in our stores when they visit. We will continue to cooperate with authorities on the case in any way we can.”
Boston 25 News texted and called Todd but has not yet gotten a response. She has not been arrested but is facing charges of assault and giving food to someone containing a foreign substance that could hurt them.
She’ll be summoned to appear in court on January 6th.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2022 Cox Media Group