LASD investigation determines a cleaning cloth was in off-duty officer's drink, not tampon

An investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department into allegations that an off-duty LAPD officer’s drink was tampered with at a Starbucks franchise store in Diamond Bar last month has been unable to prove any malicious intent by the barista or the officer.

As FOX 11 previously reported, on June 19, the officer claimed to have discovered what he believed was a tampon or feminine hygiene product inside his Frappuccino after he visited the Starbucks franchise store inside of Target at 747 Grand Ave. in the city of Diamond Bar.

The officer filed a police report, and LASD’s Walnut station launched a felony investigation for 347(a)(1) PC, Poisoning of Food or Drink.LASD sources tell FOX 11 that after reviewing video and conducting interviews with both the officer and the barista, the barista admitted she accidentally scooped up a cleaning cloth that had fallen into ice, then unknowingly blended it into the officer’s drink.

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The officer discovered the object in his drink and believed it was a malicious tampering of his beverage. 

LASD sources tell FOX 11 the barista was very apologetic, and the incident was neither criminal tampering on the part of the barista nor a malicious hoax perpetuated by the officer.

Target had told FOX 11 that after reviewing the surveillance video, they didn’t see anything suspicious.

LASD sources tell FOX 11 the video quality and angle was poor, making it difficult to observe what happened.

The police report released by Sheriff Alex Villanueva states:

"Walnut/Diamond Bar Station detectives have concluded their investigation of the alleged poisoned drink purchased at a Starbucks coffee shop in Diamond Bar. The alleged victim and possible suspect, in this case, were both interviewed and the case has been submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for further review. 

All available video was reviewed by Walnut/Diamond Bar Station Detectives along with interviews of witnesses in this case.  Based on the evidence available at this time, the item in the drink was possibly a cleaning type cloth commonly used by store employees. The investigation was unable to prove malicious intent on the part of the store employee. Pending the review and final decision of the District Attorney’s office, there is no further information at this time."

The case is being sent to the District Attorney’s office for final review, but is expected to be given an official D.A. “reject”, meaning the case will be closed.