Commentary

Starbucks Employee Accused of Sickening Attack on Cops: Spitting in Drinks, Bragging About It

Combined Shape

When there’s a constant drumbeat of vitriol against police officers, branding them as agents of white supremacy and unregenerate violence, this is what you get: Starbucks employees spitting in cops’ drinks in the middle of a pandemic, then bragging about it.

Kevin A. Trejo, 21, was arrested Monday after police in Park Ridge, New Jersey, alleged the barista had been tampering with the officers’ drinks and telling others about it, NJ.com reported.

Trejo was charged with subjecting a law enforcement officer to contact with a bodily fluid, knowingly tampering with a cup of coffee knowing it was ordered by an officer and creating a hazardous condition.

Park Ridge Police Chief Joseph Madden said that they were led to question Trejo because he was “arrogant enough to be bragging about it.”

“Under the current COVID threat, it is extremely disturbing to think that someone would intentionally spit in your drink,” Capt. Joseph Rampolla of the Park Ridge Police Department told NorthJersey.com. Park Ridge is just outside New York City.

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Park Ridge Police Department Lt. James Babcock, meanwhile, told Fox News the incident was disconcerting.

“It’s just unnerving that we could go into a place, try to grab a cup of coffee and have to deal with that when we’re trying to, you know, just grab a break,” he said in a Wednesday interview.

“So, a lot of our guys are obviously upset; rightfully so. But, we are, you know, we have to, you know, fight through this. We have to be strong. And, we have to still serve our community.”

Has anti-police sentiment gone too far in the United States?

According to the Westwood Patch, police investigated the Starbucks after receiving tips that an employee was spitting in officers’ drinks.

The details of the alleged crimes and whom Trejo allegedly decided to rat himself out to remain unclear. There’s no indication, for instance, how many officers’ drinks Trejo allegedly spit in or whether this was a one-time occurrence.

Starbucks representatives called the actions “reprehensible” and said, unsurprisingly, that Trejo is no longer employed by the company.

“We will continue to support Park Ridge Police in their investigation and have a deep respect for the Park Ridge Police Department and the officers who help keep our partners and communities safe,” a representative said in a statement to NorthJersey.com.

Meanwhile, Starbucks spokeswoman Sara Autio told NJ.com the incident was “not at all a reflection of how our employees treat our customers on a daily basis.”

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“We want everyone who comes into our stores to receive a positive experience and when that doesn’t occur, we move quickly to address it and hold ourselves accountable,” she said.

Park Ridge Police said they didn’t believe this was part of a wider pattern in their community.

“We believe this was an isolated act but it does not remove the shock and disgust that our officers feel,” Rampolla said.

New Jersey Policemen Benevolent Association president Patrick Colligan used stronger language when discussing the alleged incident.

“Every time I think we as society hit bottom, there is a new incident,” said Colligan said in a statement. “Officers risk their lives daily, it shouldn’t be while getting coffee.”

And that’s the chilling aspect to what Trejo is charged with: In the context of the times, acts like the ones suspected here risk lives. We’d be deceiving ourselves if we thought, before this pandemic hit, there weren’t degenerate fast-food employees adding their saliva to customers’ food. We’re not in Ward Cleaver-ville anymore. There are plenty of young, witless types who thought this kind of behavior was good for an “lol” and a Snapchat to their similarly neuron-challenged friends.

I don’t care how witless you are, however: If there’s one thing that’s been drummed into you over these past few months, it’s that you can be an asymptomatic carrier of a disease that’s deadly enough to have shut down the entire world.

Unfortunately, if there’s a second thing you’ve had drummed into you over these past few months, it’s a bunch of “Frankfurt School for Dummies” rhetoric about toppling systems of oppression and how the shock-troopers of these systems are police officers — an agglomeration of bullies who’ve found a way to monetize intolerance and sociopathy and whose jobs could just as easily be taken over by social workers.

If Trejo did what he’s alleged to have done, did A lead to B? Was Trejo so blinded by his disdain for police he didn’t bother thinking of the potential COVID-19 risk? Is this just the kind of loser who would have done this no matter what the situation?

The former Starbucks barista was arrested, it’s worth noting, one day after “mostly peaceful” protesters in Portland, Oregon, set fire to the hall of the city’s police union, the Portland Police Association.

Unlike the rioters in Portland, who’ll almost certainly never see the inside of a courtroom for this, Trejo is facing charges — third-degree charges. This for potentially exposing police officers to COVID-19 and bragging about it.

However, in two totally different crimes on opposite sides of the continent, we can see two similarities: criminal contempt for the men and women who put their lives on the line to ensure the social contract doesn’t devolve into chaos, and neither the mechanism nor the will to come down upon these offenders with punishment commensurate with what they’re doing.

Yes, I get it: Cops aren’t popular. There’s a significant portion of the American populace who genuinely believes police are little more than hunters preying on people of color. These sorts of things don’t really register on our cultural radar — which, in turn, is why we’re seeing record retirements among police officers and we’ll likely see fewer people looking toward law enforcement as a career.

That, of course, would serve the purposes of the liberal left all too well. The supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden — from the fabled “suburban white women” sporting “coexist” bumper stickers on their hybrids to the hard-core, street-fighting progressives of the Portland variety — have many differences.

But there’s no denying that they’re united by a shared animus to the nation’s police forces as currently constituted, and support either defunding police departments entirely or diverting large portions of their funding to Democratic-favored solutions, like social workers at common police calls. (Let’s see how that goes in Florida’s St. Petersburg.)

The left supporting Biden is responsible for the current anti-cop movement, and every American voting in November needs to remember that. If Biden is elected, Americans can expect to see more of the same — and probably worse.

Meanwhile, all of this is coming at the same time we’re seeing a spike in violence in America’s major cities. In other words, if Biden supporters get their way, we’re going to have fewer experienced law enforcement officers out on the street, fewer qualified individuals taking their place, and a lot less money to ensure they can do their job.

Is that what Americans are going to vote for?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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