Investigators: No evidence Aurora Taco Bell served rat poison; customer not reachable


AURORA | An eyebrow-raising allegation originally reported by several local television news stations that a man was served rat poison by employees at an Aurora Taco Bell has been called into question by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office after they have not been able to find any evidence of the crime and have not been able to contact the victim.

According to a Friday news release from the department, on Jan. 15 deputies responded to a dispute between a drive-thru customer and employees at the Taco Bell at 16776 E. Smoky Hill Road. 

The customer was angry because he had ordered several tacos and a soft drink but the soda fountain was broken, the release said. He asked for a burrito as a replacement, which employees initially said they could not give him.

“He continued to argue with staff until he was given a burrito in place of the drink,” the release said. “Deputies found that there was no criminal activity that had occurred.”

The release did not specify which party called law enforcement.

That evening, deputies were called to a local hospital on a report that a man had been admitted after eating food containing rat poison, the release said. Deputies spoke to the patient, who was the Taco Bell customer from earlier that day.

The man said that he had gone home and eaten his tacos several hours after ordering them. When he ate the tacos he felt a burning sensation in his mouth and began to vomit, at which point he called 911 and was taken to the hospital.

“At the hospital, deputies saw the taco he took a bite out of and saw a greenish-gray substance in the taco. Lab tests confirmed the presence of rat poison in the taco.”

The Taco Bell was shut down while Sheriff’s Office investigators conducted an investigation and employees from Arapahoe County Public Health were contacted.

“Over the last several days, investigators have been going through the Taco Bell video and found no evidence that the employees were responsible for placing the rat poison in the food given to the customer,” the release said. “During the investigation, investigators have been trying to contact the customer via phone but have not been able to speak with him. On January 19, 2023, investigators went to the customer’s home and attempted contact with him, but there was no answer.”

Deputies currently cannot account for how the rat poison ended up in the taco, the release said. The case will remain open.

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12 days ago

Self poisoning? Looks and sounds like it.

Trebor Cadeau
Trebor Cadeau
12 days ago
Reply to  Doug

How much money did that Taco Bellose when closed for investigation?

When we can, we shall patronize thaTaco Bell to help compensate for their lo$$es.

At our house we do not keep rat poison so that such contaminations cannot happen.

Trebor Cadeau
Trebor Cadeau
12 days ago

Does Taco Bell ever have rat poison atheir facility?
I have always found Taco Bells very clean and not needing pest control.

Perhaps rat poison accidentally got into the customer’s food athe customer’s home.
Should check the home for rat poison residues.

Curt Gibson
Curt Gibson
11 days ago

I don’t believe anyone waits more than ten minutes to eat the taco