A 15-year-old boy from Texas was arrested on Monday evening for spitting in a bottle of Arizona Iced Tea before placing it back on a store’s shelf.
The Odessa Police Department responded to a call at an Albertson’s grocery store on Monday after someone witnessed the boy put the sugary drink to his lips before placing it back into the refrigerator.
The teen then allegedly told the asset protection manager at the store before police arrived that he took one sip before putting the drink aside because it tasted “gross,” KOSA reported.
The police officer then said the teen told him repeatedly that he sipped the tea before putting it back on the shelf because it was “gross.”
Authorities charged the 15-year-old with tampering with a consumer product, a second-degree felony, and booked him at the Ector County Youth Center.
A spokesperson for United Family, Albertsons’ parent company, released a statement saying the store takes the “safety of our guests and the integrity of our products very seriously.”
“We remind our guests to always check their products to ensure safety seals are intact and the item has not been compromised,” the statement read. “If they notice anything suspicious, they should alert store management immediately and return the product for a full refund.”
The 15-year-old’s arrest is the latest arrest to come among a growing trend of people sharing viral videos of themselves tampering with supermarket products.
A 36-year-old man from Louisiana was arrested this month after he was caught on camera licking a carton of Blue Bell ice cream with his finger after pulling it off the grocery store’s shelf.
The woman who reportedly started the trend of defiling frozen desserts while being caught on camera after her video went viral on Twitter. She was charged as a juvenile since she is under the age of 18.
The string of incidents also prompted Blue Bell Creameries to issue a response on its website to ensure its products are safe to eat.
“This type of incident will not be tolerated,” Blue Bell said in a pop-up statement on its website. “Food safety is a top priority, and we work hard to provide a safe product and maintain the highest level of confidence from our consumers.”