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Teen allegedly spit in drink
Stafford teen charged with spitting in customer's drink

Date published: 4/21/2006

By KEITH EPPS

A teenage employee at a North Stafford fast-food restaurant has been charged with a felony for allegedly spitting in a customer's drink, court records state.

Shaleesheya G. Ford, 18, of Stafford is charged with adulteration of food, obstruction of justice and making a false report, according to records filed in Stafford General District Court.

Adulteration of food is a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

According to court records and the 35-year-old victim in the case, the incident occurred the night of April 14 at the Taco Bell on Garrisonville Road.

The victim, a lifelong Stafford County resident who asked not to be named, said he'd been going to the store three to four times a week for a long time.

On this night, the man said, he purchased food at the drive-through window but didn't get the iced tea he ordered.

He said that when he asked about the tea, an employee told him they were out of tea. He then complained to the manager about the lack of tea, which the man said had happened several times of late.

The man said he settled for a Mountain Dew. He said the employee who handed it to him giggled as she told him to have a nice day.

Shortly after leaving the window, the man said, he started to drink the soda. Just before it got into his mouth, the man said, he saw a strange substance floating in the drink.

"Once I touched it, I knew exactly what it was," he said.

The man said he called 911 and a deputy responded to the parking lot.

During the ensuing investigation, the man said, he scooped the "loogie" out of the cup and turned it over to police.

He said a deputy eventually came out of the store with a young girl who said someone had spit in a cup while goofing around and the cup inadvertently got passed to the customer.

The man said he didn't believe that explanation. "I don't know why anyone would have done that," he said of the spitting. "I didn't yell at them."

According to court records, Ford was arrested Saturday. An arraignment in General District Court is set for Tuesday.

It was not clear yesterday whether anyone else had been charged in connection with the case, which is being investigated by Deputy T.C. Nelson.

To reach KEITH EPPS:540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com