Kaitlyn Todd, 30, stands charged with assault and giving food to someone containing a foreign substance that could hurt them. She was issued a summons and will appear in court on January 6.
According to police, Norfolk Police Sgt. Eric Van Ness alleges he was served the tainted coffee on May 25, 2022, at the Medfield Starbucks located on Main Street in that town. Van Ness said he was in full uniform, having just appeared in Wrentham District Court earlier that morning.
Van Ness said he saw Todd, working at the Starbucks as a barista, holding “a drink cup very close to her mouth.” Van Ness then alleges that Todd “spit into the same cup.” After making the drink in that same cup, she called the officer by name and put that same cup on the counter.
Van Ness said that he did not accept the drink nor did he drink from the cup, instead notifying the store manager of what he believed had happened and notifying the Medfield Police Department.
“I think my client was targeted because he wears a uniform,” said George Papachristo, an attorney who is representing the sergeant.
Fox 25 obtained a video of the incident. It shows Todd working with two cups at her station. She placed one of the cups down on the counter, which contains a brown fluid, then turns her back and works with a second cup. She then returns to the first cup, briefly lifts it to her face, then lowers it and empties the contents of the first cup into the second.
Fox’s reporter Bob Ward interviewed Papachristo, and asked, “When we look at that video, what are we seeing?”
“I believe what we are seeing what my client has described in his complaint, and to the police, that this woman is spitting into his drink.”
Meanwhile Starbucks told Ward that the video allegedly showed the normal preparation of the drink, and claimed the barista was double-checking to ensure she didn’t forget to include an ingredient. On the day of the incident, the store manager told Van Ness the barista was perhaps merely smelling the coffee.
In a statement, Starbucks wrote:
“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.”
Fox 25 said they attempted to reach out to Todd, both by text and phone, but have not received a response.
Meanwhile, WBZ-4, a CBS affiliate in Boston received the same statement from Starbucks. However for unknown reasons, that outlet has chosen not to identify Todd by name.
In a statement given by Papachristo to WBZ-4, he said:
“…reviewed the surveillance video…police reports, and has been privy to other evidence.” He claimed that it is his opinion “that the video clearly displays the woman taking the cup, and putting it directly into [her] mouth, consistent with somebody spitting into a cup.”
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) December 6, 2022
Meanwhile in Boston, a 43-year-old Plymouth, MA man is under arrest, charging with an unprovoked attack on a 68-year-old man outside a Faneuil Hall restaurant this past Sunday morning, WBZ-4 reported. Police allege that man, Robert Buckley, threw the male victim to the ground and then fled.
Police say the man was celebrating with family when he was attacked by Buckley for no reason, who then ran off with a second man. Buckley was subsequently found by police at Atlantic Avenue and High Street. He was identified at the scene by a member of the victim’s family. The second man was not involved in the assault and was not charged.
The victim suffered a serious neck injury and a severe gash to his forehead, police said. He could possibly suffer lifelong complications from the attack, authorities say.
Buckley was being held in lieu of bail and is scheduled to return to court in February. Police said they have been unable to establish a motive for the attack.
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