FAIRBANKS — Three tacos cost a Fairbanks man $100 in fines, one day in jail and one year probation.
Warren E. Strickland, 31, of Fairbanks, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Tuesday for throwing a double-decker taco at a manager of the Taco Bell restaurant on University Avenue.
Strickland said he was upset during the Jan. 14 incident because a taco contained spit after he had been through the drive-thru twice to correct his order.
According to a criminal complaint filed in court, he went into the restaurant and threw the taco at manager Carol Dzimtrowicz, who said it hit her in the face and that she was scared of Strickland. Another employee reported that Strickland threatened to knock him out.
Strickland was arrested at his home driveway, where he admitted throwing the taco, according to the complaint.
Dzimtrowicz said she could not comment. She deferred questions to the ownership company of Alaska Taco Bell Franchises, Denali Foods, which did not return a voice mail.
Strickland said he returned to the drive-thru lane because he had paid for three tacos and received two and that he returned because the new taco wasn’t what he’d ordered.
Then, he said, he found spit in the second newly made taco and went inside to tell a manager.
He claimed Dzimtrowicz accused him of lying and trying to get free food. That’s when he threw the taco that allegedly had been spat upon.
“Unfortunately, I destroyed the evidence (of the spit), or I could have gotten the place shut down,” he said Wednesday.
He feels the criminal complaint misrepresented the incident in ways, such as comparing his dimensions (6 feet 2 inches tall, 250 pounds) to Dzimtrowicz, who is roughly half his size, and making no mention of the spit.
Strickland is barred from any Taco Bell during his year of probation.
He asked during his arraignment Tuesday to be allowed at the College Road Taco Bell, where he said he was treated well after calling a consumer complaint number. He will need a written agreement from the owner to be allowed there.
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