Florida Man Tries to Poison a “Difficult” Coworker With Bleach

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The police arrested a man from Florida after his coworker accused him of pouring bleach into his soda can and then spitting inside the can after a dispute between the two men the day before.

Jerome Ellis, 48, an employee of a Dollar General Store in Deland, was arrested by the police on Monday and charged with two felonies, including poisoning food or water with malicious intent of killing or injuring another person and fabrication or tampering with evidence. 

The charging affidavit states that deputies from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department got a call on Monday from a Dollar General Store in Deland. The 911 call reported that there had been possible poisoning at the store.

When the deputies responded to the call, they found one of the store’s employees who informed them that he had gotten into a heated argument with Ellis at the store the previous day and believed Ellis was retaliating.

The employee described to the deputies what had happened. He told them that he had gone on his lunch break and taken a can of Pepsi, which he was trying to enjoy until he got the “call of nature.” He left the open can on a counter in the store’s break-room and went to the restroom. When he returned, he took a sip from his soda can and immediately noticed that the soda tasted and smelled like bleach.

The man told the deputies that he panicked and called 911. He then informed his manager about the  incident, took the allegedly poisoned soda can, and placed it in a backroom for safekeeping, and as evidence.

The worker then followed his instincts and decided to review surveillance footage of the room where his Pepsi can was, which confirmed his fears. He told the police the footage showed his co-worker Ellis pouring bleach into his Pepsi can.

In his first interview with police, Ellis told them that he and the coworker had not argued recently and that he had only spilled a cleaning solution on the counter but not inside the soda can.

Upon reviewing the surveillance footage, deputies said that the video showed Ellis pouring the cleaning solution in the vicinity of the man’s soda can and then taking a paper towel and wiping the counter down.

According to the affidavit, Ellis returned to where the can was a few minutes later, and the video shows him leaning over it and spitting into it. He then grabs the can and wipes it with the paper towel.

Unfortunately for Ellis, the surveillance camera also captures him trying to unplug the store’s camera system.

During a second interview, after the deputies had reviewed the footage, they told Ellis what surveillance had caught him doing and urged him to come clean. Ellis admitted to putting bleach on the can’s rim so he could punish his coworker for being difficult to work with.

According to deputies, the coworker who drank some of the bleached soda refused to go to the hospital.

Ellis is being held without bond at the Volusia County jail and will appear in court on November 17. 

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