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Man became 'violently ill' after ingesting rat poison found in Taco Bell burrito, Colorado sheriff's office says

The man was also involved in a heated exchange with workers, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.
Credit: KUSA

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A man became violently ill over the weekend after eating a Taco Bell burrito that contained rat poison, and the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office is investigating how that poison ended up there.

Around 1 p.m. Jan. 15, the Sheriff's Office responded to the Taco Bell on Smoky Hill Road near Buckley Road in Centennial for a report of a disturbance.

Deputies found that there was a heated exchange between a customer and employees due to the soda machine not working. The customer was eventually given an extra burrito and went home, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Several hours later, around 7:50 p.m., a hospital contacted the Sheriff's Office and reported that they were caring for a patient who had eaten at Taco Bell and ingested rat poison. The hospital confirmed there was indeed rat poison in the burrito, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Investigators determined that the sick individual was the same person involved in the earlier disturbance. Deputies responded to his home, the hospital and the Taco Bell to begin an investigation.

They learned from the victim that he had gone home, done chores and watched some TV before eating the food items he had purchased earlier at Taco Bell.

The man said he immediately became violently ill and called 911. The Sheriff's Office said he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. It was confirmed that there was rat poison in the food, the Sheriff's Office said.

Surveillance video from both the interior and exterior areas of the Taco Bell restaurant was collected as evidence.

Taco Bell released a statement, "The safety of customers and team members is a priority. The franchisee who owns and operates this location has informed us that they are working with local authorities in their investigation."

The case is considered an "open and active" investigation, and at this time the Sheriff's Office is treating the situation as if the man received the food from the restaurant with rat poison in it. Exactly how the poison got there remains under investigation.

Arapahoe County Health was contacted. The health department said it did an inspection and allowed the restaurant to reopen.

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