Florida woman picked her nose, stuck unwashed hands in ice cream, police say
INDIAN SHORES, Fla. - A St. Petersburg woman was arrested for sticking her unwashed hands and spitting in ice cream at an Indian Shores ice cream shop, police said.
Indian Shores police arrested 66-year-old Jung Soon Wypcha after she was seen in surveillance video tampering with ice cream and supplies at Lu Lu's Ice Cream and Candy Shop on at least three days in June, they said. Wypcha works at a Food Mart next-door which shared a bathroom with Lu Lu's.
On June 17, police said she used "the bathroom with the door wide open" five times and didn't wash her hands. Wypcha then walked to a freezer storing organic ice cream, opened ice cream containers, and placed her hands in them, police said. Investigators said surveillance video showed her picking her nose and sticking her hands in the ice cream, and another video showed her spitting into the ice cream containers.
On the following day, police said Wypcha entered a back room to use the bathroom. When she exited the bathroom, they said she noticed boxes piled on top of the ice cream freezer, preventing her from opening it.
Police said she moved the boxes but was still unable to open the freezer, and she left the facility.
On June 22, Indian Shores police said she entered the back room to use the bathroom. However, there was a lock on the door, they said.
When she couldn't open it, investigators said she grabbed one of Lu Lu's ice cream buckets – used to churn their homemade ice cream – and urinated in it. They said she poured the bucket into a sink marked with the word, "rinse." Officials said the sink is used to wash the ice cream folding utensils and mixing bowls at the shop.
After, police said she opened the ice cream freezer, put her hands inside and left the room. Police said the act was recorded on surveillance video on three different occasions on that day.
Police said Wypcha's actions caused the business to get rid of $2,000 worth of product to "ensure public safety."
"The minute we learned about it, we called the authorities. We got rid of everything so there was no question about did she do this or did she do that," said co-owner Paul Chiulli, standing with his wife, Beth Skeen.
Investigators said there was no indication of drug or alcohol influence, or any indication of mental health issues.
Officials did not give any details on a possible motive. Wypcha was arrested for tampering and criminal mischief. She bonded out of jail Monday night.
"We thought they were our friends," said Skeen. "How does someone do that and why?"
"This is our home, our life. We don't have anything else. This is it," Skeen said, tearfully.
"We love what we do and take ice cream seriously," Chiulli said.
Loyal customers promise that they have many more scoops in their future. "The community will back them," said Mike Gleeson. "We'll support you when you reopen. We'll do whatever we can do to keep this business thriving."