By JON HAWORTH, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Three New York City police officers have been hospitalized after allegedly ingesting bleach that had been put into their milkshakes at a Shake Shack restaurant in New York City.
The incident occurred on the evening of June 15 when the three officers went to a Shake Shack restaurant in Lower Manhattan when, at some point during their meal, they began to feel sick while drinking their milkshakes.
The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (NYC PBA) released a statement early Tuesday morning saying that it is believed the officers had ingested bleach.
“At some point during their meal period, the MOS discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages,” the NYC PBA said in a statement published to social media. “The contamination was not discovered until the MOS had already ingested a portion of their beverages.”
The three victims were transported to a local area hospital and are received treatment. All of them are expected to survive.
However, both Shake Shack and the New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted that, after a thorough investigation, there was no criminality done by any of the Shake Shack employees, in spite of what the NYC PBA had claimed earlier.
Harrison did not elaborate on the investigation or how the substance that made the officers sick got into their milkshakes in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Detective’s Endowment Agency (DEA) also issued a statement saying that they believed the three officer’s had been “intentionally poisoned.”
“Tonight, three of our brothers in blue were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack at 200 Broadway in Manhattan,” the DEA said in the statement. “After tasting the milk shakes they purchased they became ill, making it necessary for them to go to an area hospital. Fortunately, our fellow officers were not seriously harmed.”
The DEA continued: “Police in New York City and across the country are under attack by vicious criminals who dislike us simply because of the uniform we wear. Emboldened by pandering elected officials, these cowards will go to great lengths to harm any member of law enforcement.”
Shake Shack said that the company was “horrified” by the incident but did not elaborate on what may have caused it.
“We are horrified by the reports of police officers injured at our 200 Broadway Shack in Manhattan. We are working with the police in their investigation right now,” Shake Shack tweeted.
Both the NYC PBA and the DEA warned officers to be extra vigilant when buying and consuming food while in uniform.
“We urge you to not buy food from locations unknown to you. Keep your eyes open and be alert at all times. Make sure you always stay with your partner — and back one another up. Inspect your vehicle — personal and department — before you drive. Now, more than ever, we have to be united,” the DEA said.
Meanwhile, the NYC PBA said that “members are advised to carefully inspect any prepared food item they purchase while on duty for possible contamination. Whenever possible, take meal in groups of two or more, and remain vigilant for the duration of the meal period.”
New York City has been a hotspot of protests and civil unrest since the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25.
“When NYC police officers cannot even take meal without coming under attack, it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level,” tweeted the NYC PBA. “We cannot afford to let our guard down for even a moment.”
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