- A Taco Bell customer fell “violently ill” and claimed he ate a taco laced with rat poison.
- Investigators found a “green-ish, grey-ish substance” in his taco, though it’s unclear if it was rat poison.
- The sheriff’s office launched an investigation and labeled the case a “criminal attempt homicide.”
A Taco Bell customer in a Denver suburb who fell “violently ill” and was taken to the hospital, claimed he ate a taco laced with rat poison, police said.
Around 1 p.m. Sunday, a man pulled up to a Taco Bell drive-thru in Aurora, Colorado, and ordered several soft tacos, deputy John Bartmann, spokesman for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, told Insider.
Bartmann said that when the customer was unable to get a drink because the store’s soda machine wasn’t working, he asked for a free burrito instead. The employees refused. After some back and fourth, they argued and police were called, according to Bartmann. No one was arrested.
But the man claimed that after he ate his first taco at home around 7 p.m., he immediately felt his mouth burning, Bartmann said. Soon after, he started to throw up, and eventually became so sick that he called 911 and went to the hospital.
Police were alerted by the hospital at 7:50 p.m. and said the man believed he had ingested rat poison in his order. He was released from the hospital soon after.
A day after the incident, deputies closed the Taco Bell location down and ordered the restaurant to discard its entire food inventory, Bartmann said. The store is now back in business.
While investigators saw a “green-ish, grey-ish” substance in the taco the customer ate, they have not confirmed what it was, he said. The sheriff’s office has launched an investigation into whether the customer’s food was tampered with.
Investigators obtained surveillance video footage from the Taco Bell where the customer bought his food, and are currently reviewing it. The case is considered a “criminal attempt homicide,” but no charges have been filed.
The identity of the customer was not revealed.
A spokesperson from Taco Bell told Insider that “the safety of customers and team members is a priority.”
“The franchise who owns and operates this location has informed us that they are working with local authorities in their investigation.”