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Medfield Starbucks employee facing criminal charges after allegedly spitting in police officer's cup

Starbucks barista accused of spitting in officer's coffee cup
Starbucks barista accused of spitting in officer's coffee cup 02:12

MEDFIELD - A Starbucks employee is facing criminal charges after allegedly spitting in a police officer's cup.

The incident in question happened on May 25, according to a police report obtained by WBZ.

A Norfolk Police Officer was in his full uniform and ordered two coffees at Starbucks shortly before noon, the report said. As he waited for his coffee, he allegedly noticed the employee put the cup to her mouth behind the counter, and the officer believed she spit in it. 

He told investigators that "the female employee then put ice into the cup, made a drink and then called out his name placing the same cup he believed she spit into on the counter," the police report says. The officer did not drink from the cup. 

Starbucks tells WBZ when it learned of the allegations, it started investigating. 

"We are aware of an allegation made by a [Norfolk] Police Officer that his drink was tampered," a spokesperson said in a statement. "As soon as we learned of the allegation, we moved quickly to investigate but so far have not been able to substantiate the claims. 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."

Video shows moment Norfolk police officer claims barista spit in his drink 00:50

There was a probable cause hearing in Dedham District Court in late November, and following it, criminal charges were filed.

The woman is now facing three charges: felony level distribution of food with a harmful substance, misdemeanor assault, and misdemeanor adulterated/misbranded food/drug.

WBZ spoke with the woman and her husband by phone briefly, and they said the allegations are not true.

WBZ also spoke with the attorney representing the Norfolk officer, who says he has "reviewed the surveillance video... police reports, and has been privy to other evidence." He tells WBZ 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."

The woman facing the charges, whom WBZ has chosen so far to not identify, has not been arrested, but will receive a summons in the mail for the charges to appear in Dedham District Court for arraignment on January 6. 

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