Ex-McDonald's Employee Facing Charges After Allegedly Rubbing Cop's Hamburger Bun on Floor
A former McDonald’s worker will go to trial after being charged with rubbing a hamburger bun on the floor and spitting on it before giving it to a Bakersfield police officer.
Tatyana Hargrove, 21, who previously lost a civil rights case against the Bakersfield Police Department, faces a felony charge of tampering with food, according to KGET, and will return to court on March 23.
A misdemeanor battery charge against Hargrove was dismissed.
According to court documents and testimony, the incident took place at a west Bakersfield McDonald’s on Nov. 15, 2019.
Hargrove is accused of shouting, “Black lives matter, [expletive] the pigs!”
Deputy Carly Snow has testified Hargrove knew the burger she was preparing would be served to a police officer, who was in the drive-thru lane in his patrol car while dressed in full uniform.
Snow said the officer did not become sick from eating the burger.
Deputy Public Defender Lexi Blythe, who’s representing Hargrove, said at a hearing earlier this month there was no proof anything harmful was intentionally added to the food.
Blythe said is it unknown when the floor was cleaned last.
She also contested whether Hargrove actually spit on the food.
Prosecutor Gina Pearl said a McDonald’s employee has claimed Hargrove was overheard drawing saliva into her mouth to prepare to spit.
Pearl said surveillance video shows Hargrove wiped her mouth after the incident, making it appear as though she spat on the food.
Pearl also addressed the issue of whether saliva is a “harmful substance.”
“Look at what’s going on in the world right now with the coronavirus,” she said.
Judge Larrie R. Brainard ruled there was enough video evidence that Hargrove wiped the hamburger bun on the floor before giving it to the officer for the case to proceed, according to The Bakersfield Californian.
In October, about a month before the incident, Hargrove had a civil rights case against the Bakersfield Police Department thrown out, according to The Sacramento Bee.
In 2017, Hargrove said she was stopped by Bakersfield police, who wanted her to hand over her backpack.
During the incident, she resisted when police wanted her to comply.
“They never told me why they stopped me but after they beat and threw me in the cop car, that’s when they explained that there was some guy with a machete that was inside the grocery store and they were looking for him and I matched the description,” she later said.
She also claimed that she was bitten by a police dog.
Bakersfield police confirmed they stopped Hargrove, but that her description of being assaulted was not accurate. A court later ruled that the officers had not violated Hargrove’s rights.
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