DEDHAM, Mass. — Boston 25 News learned that the Norfolk District Attorney’s office is not moving forward with the prosecution of a Medfield Starbucks barista accused of spitting into a drink she was preparing for a police officer last year.
The barista was expected to be arraigned on Friday in Dedham District Court, but as a result of the DA’s office entering a “nolle prosequi,” the arraignment will not take place.
According to the DA’s office, they are ethically bound to not bring forward cases that cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In May, Medfield police alleged Kaitlyn Todd spit into a drink that Norfolk Police Officer Eric Van Ness had ordered following a court hearing he attended in Wrentham.
The alleged incident, which was captured on video obtained by Boston 25 News, shows Todd pulling a cup to her face as she prepared the drink.
Todd was scheduled to be arraigned on three charges including assault and distributing food with a harmful substance. But her arraignment is delayed until March.
The arraignment was delayed because Todd’s lawyer filed a motion to dismiss the charges. Todd’s lawyer is trying to convince the judge that there is no evidence in this case, only suspicion.
In the seven-page motion to dismiss, the Barista’s lawyer contends Officer Van Ness never saw Todd spit into the cup, and that there is no evidence that Todd knew the drink she was preparing was for Officer Van Ness.
As for why Todd lifted the cup to her face as seen in the video, the Motion states, “the recipe for the drink, which was started by a different barista, included a strong-smelling vanilla extract, and Ms. Todd raised the cup to smell it to see if the extract had already been added….”
The Motion concludes the complaint against Kaitlyn Todd should be dismissed because it is based on less than a suspicion, but instead on Officer Van Ness’ quote irrational belief that she spit in his cup.
After the hearing, I tried to talk to Kaitlyn Todd, but neither she nor her attorney would comment.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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