A police officer in Indiana who accused a McDonald’s worker of taking a bite out of his McChicken sandwich has apologized after realizing that he was the one who did it.
The Marion County sheriff’s deputy told local NBC affiliate WTHR earlier this month that he suspected a worker at a McDonald’s he frequently patronizes in Indianapolis targeted him because of his position as a law enforcement officer.
The cop, identified only as “DJ” by WTHR, said he ordered a McChicken sandwich, fries and chocolate chip cookies from the McDonald’s on July 14. Later that day, he noticed a bite missing from the sandwich while he was warming it up at work.
“I noticed several small bites,” DJ told WTHR. “I know I didn’t eat it. No other people around. So I was like ... I’m going to report this to McDonald’s, see if they can get that taken care of.”
DJ said he went back to the McDonald’s and talked to a supervisor who offered him free food, which he said he wasn’t interested in.
“I just wanted to find out who the person was and [have management] deal with that person in an appropriate way,” DJ told WTHR.
A McDonald’s representative told the outlet that the company had launched a full investigation into the incident following DJ’s accusation.
But the Marion County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Friday announcing the conclusion of their own investigation, which found that the officer was the one responsible for the missing bite.
“The employee took a bite out of the sandwich upon starting his shift at the Marion County Jail, then placed it in the refrigerator in a break room,” according the sheriff’s department. “He returned nearly seven hours later having forgotten that he had previously bitten the sandwich.”
DJ apologized to McDonald’s after the sheriff’s office said that restaurant staff “in no way tampered” with his food.
“We recognize that McDonald’s is a valued civic partner, and any insinuation in private or in the media to the contrary is unfounded,” the statement from the sheriff’s office concluded.
A spokeswoman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told HuffPost that the officer has been disciplined. She did not immediately respond to a request for additional information about the officer and details about the disciplinary actions he faced.
Though DJ’s accusation turned out to be false, there have been occasional reports in the past of restaurant workers tampering with police officers’ food. In May, three teens were fired from a restaurant in Florida and subsequently arrested for allegedly spitting in two sheriff’s deputies’ meals.