Sheriff's Deputy Edward Bylsma said he had a suspicious feeling about two employees when he stopped for a meal at a Burger King in Washington state. He went to the drive-through in uniform and driving a marked sheriff's car just before 2 a.m. last month to order a Whopper.
One of the employees handed him the bag in a way that raised his suspicions. When he pulled over in another parking lot down the street to check the Whopper, he found a big gob of spit on it.
Bylsma called for backup and two other deputies arrived to collect evidence. They went to the restaurant to get saliva samples from the two workers, who refused to cooperate. A sample of the spit on the burger was sent for DNA testing and then a search warrant was obtained to get the DNA samples from the two workers, Gary Herb and Jeremy McDonald.
DNA testing matched the saliva to one of the workers, Gary Herb, 22. Herb was later arrested and given a three-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to third-degree assault.
Deputy Bylsma is suing Burger King now for $75,000 because he says the company was "negligent in its selection, training and supervision of employees."
"Gary Herb and Jeremy McDonald had criminal records, including convictions for assault and burglary, and one has Hepatitis," the suit contends. The suit alleges that "defendants were negligent in their selection, training, and supervision of its employees, including, without limitation, failing to adequately screen, instruct and supervise them, and failing to provide them with adequate standards, as regards to reasonably necessary health and safety practices to prevent the contamination of food."
McDonald and Herb were fired from their Burger King jobs.