Chief deputy arrests Pizza Hut manager for spitting in his pizza - WKRN News 2

Chief deputy arrests Pizza Hut manager for spitting in his pizza, employee calls it "ridiculous accusation"

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ERWIN, TN (WJHL) - Unicoi County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Frank Rogers arrested a Pizza Hut shift manager last week after he said she spit in his food. The sheriff says it was an effort by the woman to get back at the officer for citing her with a DUI-related charge last year.

Amanda Engle now faces a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct as a result of the alleged incident at the Pizza Hut in Erwin last week.

"The defendant was observed by me depositing bodily fluid on commercial food which had been purchased by me," Rogers said in the affidavit. "The defendant did; in a public place, create a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act which served no legitimate purpose."

Sheriff Mike Hensley says his chief deputy placed a pick-up order for two pizzas Thursday night. When he arrived, he said the pizzas weren't ready so he sat down near the cash register.

When the pizza came out of the oven, Rogers said he watched the woman look at him, lean over his supreme pizza and spit on it.

"As the defendant removed the pizza from the oven I observed her cut her eyes and look at me," Rogers said in the report said. "The defendant then leaned over the pizza that she had (started) to slice and I observed her spit on the pizza which had been purchased by me. I immediately called her attention to the matter and (asked) her if she knew me, she replied 'yes you're Frank Rogers.'"

The sheriff says the woman's actions were uncalled for.

"It's not right," Sheriff Hensley said. "The food that he had purchased, he's got small kids, this was going to his family. When you take it upon yourself to put bodily fluids into something your family's going to eat, it would make me highly upset and I think appropriate action was taken."

Sheriff Hensley says he's convinced the woman spit in the chief deputy's food as retaliation. After all, she had just pleaded guilty earlier this month to a DUI-related charge that Rogers cited her for back in April 2013.

"She wanted to retaliate," the sheriff said. "That was her way of getting back at him for something she just pled guilty to. I'd say if you asked the girl today she'd say she made a serious mistake."

That's not what Engle calls it. In fact, she says none of the allegations are true. She says she did not spit on Rogers' pizza.

"This is a ridiculous accusation," Engle said in a phone interview. "I didn't do it. I wouldn't jeopardize my job or my family over this man."

Pizza Hut terminated Engle as a result of the incident.

"We take any claim about our food very seriously," Pizza Hut said in a statement. "Food safety and cleanliness are top priorities for us, and the health department has since inspected the restaurant and given it a clean bill of health.

Sheriff Hensley says Engle's alleged crime isn't a reflection of Pizza Hut.

"We patronize Pizza Hut and will still patronize Pizza Hut," the sheriff said. "It's not their fault. It was just a bad employee and it was just a retaliation against the officer."

Sheriff Hensley says it's up to an officer's discretion as to whether or not he arrests someone. The sheriff's office says in this case since the offense was likely to occur again and since it occurred in the officer's presence, Rogers had every right to arrest the woman.

Engle is due in court on February 20th.

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