The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said on Wednesday that it has officially closed the investigation into who put rat poison in a Taco Bell order of a man who had to be hospitalized after ingesting the poison found in his taco.

ACSO started their investigation after a hospitalized customer claimed to have eaten rat poison he found in his food from a Centennial Taco Bell restaurant.

"After a thorough investigation, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office has closed the case of the poison in the Taco Bell food," ACSO said in a statement. "Investigators cleared the Taco Bell employees of wrongdoing using surveillance cameras inside the restaurant.

"Investigators spoke with the victim to try and ascertain who could have placed the poison in the tacos but were unable to find a suspect. The Sheriff's Office would like to thank Taco Bell and their employees for their help in the investigation," ACSO said.


Authorities in Colorado do not believe that a Taco Bell employee added rat poison to a customer's meal, despite news headlines and allegations from the customer Friday claiming they did.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office released a statement Friday in response to claims from a customer that he was poisoned after eating food from the restaurant.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Deputies say they had responded to the Taco Bell in Aurora, Colorado on January 15th. After ordering three bean burritos and a soda, the customer began complaining but was told the soda machine was not working. In place of the food, the man wanted a fourth burrito for free, to make up for the drink machine being down.

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First, the employees told customers they couldn't give him a burrito, but they eventually caved. Deputies left the scene after determining there was nothing criminal happening other than the guy not being able to get Baja Blast to wash down those burritos.

Later that day, police were called to the hospital where a patient had told staff that he ate food with rat poison.

Deputies arrived and realized it was the same man from the Taco Bell earlier that day. He told deputies after eating one of the burritos, he immediately felt a burning sensation in his mouth and began to vomit after ingesting the food from the Taco Bell.


Deputies discovered a "greenish-gray" substance in the taco the man bit into, and a lab test confirmed it to be rat poison. The Taco Bell was immediately shut down and investigated.

The sheriff's office said the restaurant turned over all video from inside the building.

"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 sheriff's office said in a statement.

Small brown rat near wooden wall on floor
Liudmila Chernetska

The sheriff's office says they're not sure yet how the poison ended up in the man's food, but for the time being, it would seem that Taco Bell is in the clear.

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