CRIME

Michigan Man Sprayed Poison On Open Food At Grocery Stores, FBI Says

Kyle Andrew Bessemer, 29, was charged.

A man suspected of spraying poison on food bars and produce in Michigan grocery stores has been captured and charged with four felony counts of poisoning food and drink.

Kyle Andrew Bessemer, 29, admitted spraying food with a mixture containing mouse poison at several stores in the Ann Arbor area over the last two weeks, authorities said. Tipsters led to his capture after authorities posted supermarket surveillance video online.

Bessemer was arraigned on Thursday and was jailed after failing to post $250,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 70 years in prison. Judge Elizabeth Hines scheduled a hearing for next Thursday.

Authorities didn't disclose a motive. Bessemer told police he had a history of mental illness and believed someone was trying to poison him, Ann Arbor Detective Kevin Warner said during Bessemer's arraignment.

There were no reports of anyone sickened by the attacks. State health officials advised customers to throw out any items from a food bar, salad bar, ready-to-eat or produce section from any of the stores that were targeted.

Bessemer admitted spraying the poisonous mixture on food items at stores, including a Whole Foods Market, Meijer market and Plum Market, the FBI said. State health officials warned that he may have targeted as many as 15 stores in the region and were conducting additional tests.

"The suspect has admitted to using a potentially hazardous material to contaminate food in several Ann Arbor-area grocery stores," FBI Special Agent David Gelios said. "Our joint investigation leads us to believe that this individual sprayed a liquid mixture of hand sanitizer, water and Tomcat mice poison on produce."

Mouse poison is a type of anti-coagulant, similar to drugs used to prevent blood clots. The state Department of Health and Human Services said it “does not anticipate any adverse health effects” in people who ate food sprayed with the mixture. 

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