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Starbucks has slammed the actions of a now-fired barista as “reprehensible” after he allegedly spit in police officers’ drinks.
The coffee giant released a statement condemning the behavior of a former New Jersey Starbucks employee who was charged Monday for spitting in drinks served to police officers, endangering them by potentially exposing them during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Source: Fox News)
“Right now the investigation is still ongoing there are still bits and pieces of the puzzle we are trying to put together,” Park Ridge Police Department Lt. James Babcock told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.
Though the investigation into Kevin Trejo is still ongoing, it was confirmed that the 21-year-old spat in the drinks of officers who would come into the Park Ridge, New Jersey Starbucks location. Trejo was charged with subjecting a law enforcement officer to contact with bodily fluid, tampering with a law enforcement officer’s drink and creating a hazardous environment.
“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,” Babcock told Fox News. “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…”
“We have been relatively healthy. And we hope it stays that way,” he added.
In a statement, Park Ridge Police Chief Joseph Madden thanked the management of the store for “their sincere cooperation” and added that it appeared this was an “isolated incident” involving only Trejo.
“We got a tip that he had done this,” Capt. Joseph Rampolla told NBC News on Tuesday. “That was enough for our detective bureau to get concerned, especially during” a pandemic. “We believe it happened more than once but we can prove it happened at least once on May 25.”
“This individual’s behavior was reprehensible and not at all a reflection of how our employees treat our customers on a daily basis,” Starbucks spokesman, Reggie Borges said in a statement. “We have apologized to the Park Ridge Police department.”
“Everyone who comes into our stores should receive a positive experience and when that doesn’t occur, we move quickly to address it and hold ourselves accountable,” the statement continued. “We will continue to support Park Ridge Police in support of their investigation and have a deep respect for the Park Ridge Police Department and the officers who help keep our partners and communities safe.”
Babcock noted that businesses in the New Jersey community, including the Starbucks, have had good relationships with local police.
“I mean, being from a small community, we have a great relationship with all of our businesses that always support our policing programs. The Park Ridge Starbucks has always supported our efforts,” he told Fox News. “And, [we] feel that the poor actions of one individual don’t speak for the good employees of that company that really care for us.”
Trejo was released on his own recognizance Monday and is due in court on Aug. 3.
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