A Subway employee in Utah is accused of spiking a police sergeant’s drink with illegal drugs. KSL News reports that 18-year-old Tanis Lloyd Ukena was captured on surveillance video spending an “unusual amount of time” preparing a Layton police sergeant’s drink.
“In the video, [Ukena] is seen filling the drink portion of the order at the drive-up fountain area,” a Davis County Jail report stated. “For some unknown reason, he walks away from the fountain machine out of camera view. He then returns to the drink where he is seen spending what seems to be an unusual amount of time getting it ready to deliver to the sergeant.”
According to the report, Ukena spiked the sergeant’s drink with methamphetamine and THC. The sergeant reported that the lemonade “tasted funny.”
“The [sergeant] began feeling the effects of being drugged,” the report said. “While approaching an intersection that had a red light, he had difficulty getting his foot to move to the brake pedal. [He] drove to the Layton Police Department, where he was observed to have signs of impairment. He was unable to process information and drifted off, and was unable to focus on questions being asked of him.”
The officer was taken to a local hospital. Layton Police Sergeant Clint Bobrowski confirmed the sergeant was in uniform at the time of the incident. Investigators believe the sergeant was targeted because he is a police officer.
“I know that the community here in Utah is overwhelmingly supportive of law enforcement, and we’ve experienced that over the last couple of months … I think this is a very isolated incident,” Bobrowski said.
Bobrowski described the sergeant’s condition:
“He would have thoughts, but his body wouldn’t react to it,” Bobrowski explained. “So if he was trying to move his arm, his arm wouldn’t move when he thought it should. He was having a hard time maintaining his focus. He was having a hard time maintaining his body. His body was jerking. And for a trained police officer watching him, it was everything I’ve seen in people who abuse illegal narcotics.”
The sergeant has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home. Police did not release the sergeant’s name and he is scheduled to return to work.
Ukena told police he did take the sergeant’s order, but “denied putting anything into the drink,” according to the jail report. Layton police said that an ion scanner test indicated that meth and THC were in a sample of the same drink Ukena gave the officer. The department added that a second test “tested positive for narcotics” as well.
According to Deseret News, Ukena was booked into Davis County Jail and is facing charges of surreptitious administration of a substance, a second-degree felony.
“We’ve been grateful for the owners and the managers of the Subway restaurant,” Bobrowski said. “In no way is this a reflection on the ownership of the restaurant. They’ve been fully cooperative with our police department. We don’t have any fears for the safety of the public. They’ve been great dealing with us, and we would definitely encourage people that eat there to continue to do so.”
In the months that followed, Ukena rarely left his Layton neighborhood or even his home. “It’s scary to go out in public when you’re receiving death threats and stuff online,” he told KSL reporters.
Ukena said he and his co-workers, knowing none of them would poison a police officer, cooperated with law enforcement as they examined the restaurant “for an hour or two.” He said he was stunned when police arrested him and booked him into jail.
“I went into shock,” said Ukena, who was arrested for investigation of surreptitious administration of a substance, a second-degree felony. “I couldn’t really comprehend anything the rest of the night.” He explained he was “more disappointed than angered” because of the way the case was handled and said at the of the investigation “definitely initially there was anger.”
Subway Employee Feels Vindicated After Analysis Finds NO DRUGS In Officer’s Drink
“I was disappointed to see how the investigation was handled,” he said. “It’d be nice to see them come out and say, ‘Hey, we made a mistake. We’re sorry.'”
The original police report stated that results from an ion scanner test indicated meth and THC were in a sample of the drink Ukena filled. A separate test also “tested positive for narcotics,” the department said.
According to a statement from Layton police, Utah State Crime Lab tests were “unable to confirm that contaminates were in the officer’s drink.”
“Several weeks ago, lab personnel notified our department of the presence of a foreign substance in the officer’s drink. This information led to further testing by the state lab in an effort to duplicate and confirm the results. The initial test results could not be duplicated,” the statement continued.
“The Layton Police Department would like to thank Subway for their complete cooperation. The department would also like to express our appreciation for the patience of Tanis and his family during this investigation.”
Police would not go on record to say whether they still believe the officer’s drink was contaminated, and they didn’t offer an alternative explanation for what may have made the officer sick.
The department noted in its news release that “investigators were also cognizant that there may have been other potential causes for the officer’s condition, and so (they) began to simultaneously investigate other possibilities, with extensive medical testing of the officer.”
After Ukena was arrested, the story spread quickly on social media and the backlash was severe.
“We hope this punk will spend some time in jail,” wrote a law enforcement group.
“(I) hope it is a long time before you see the outside of a cell,” wrote another.
Several wrote that Ukena should be charged with attempted murder.
“I hope they put him so far in prison he can’t see daylight,” wrote another.
Some people called for a boycott of Subway.