When an employee has an axe to grind with a colleague, it is possible that they will express their annoyance with a few crossed words or a frosty email.
However, an Enterprise Rent-A-Car employee has been detained by police after allegedly spiking his co-workers’ water bottles with LSD because he thought they were ‘too uptight’ – the Daily Mail reports.
Local authorities told the publication that police dashed to the Enterprise site in Missouri after a manager reported that two employees were rushed to hospital because their drinks had been fixed with an unknown substance.
The manager also explained that the 19-year-old suspect had been ‘acting weird’ when he came into work, which led the manager to believe that he was involved in the incident.
The detained suspect was reportedly ‘messing with’ his manager’s water jug and bottles belonging to two of the company’s employees. He was caught using a pipette. After catching sight of his tampering, the manager assured the publication that she didn’t drink from the water jug.
When the suspect was quizzed about the incident by local authorities, the man reportedly defended his movements by explaining that his co-workers were too uptight and needed ‘better energy’ – a police report claimed.
Shortly after, the two employees came across dizzy and started to feel strange. According to Talk to Frank, LSD or ‘acid’ is a powerful hallucinogenic drug which is sought to energise and excite those who take it. LSD is classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act and is illegal to possess or supply under UK law.
A police report confirmed that they were both rushed to hospital but have since been treated and released.
The suspect was sent to jail but has since been released and is said to have lost his job at the car rental firm.
Fox News reports that the 19-year-old could face charges of second-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance.
While this incident seems like a one off, spiking co-workers’ food and drink unfortunately happens relatively frequently.
Earlier this month, The Week reported that an employee was given a life sentence after repeatedly poisoning co-workers’ lunches.
The man had been spiking colleagues’ food with deadly metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium for decades, which left co-workers with chronic kidney damage and severe brain damage.
The Independent reported that one of his targets “fell into a coma after ingesting mercury and now has permanent brain damage”.
While it is quite common for colleagues to take it in turns to do the tea and coffee rounds, there are usually no problems, apart from an unexpectedly milky cup of tea or a coffee with too much sugar for an individual’s liking.
So, what can HR do if they suspect that something untoward is happening in their workforce?
Encourage workers to report any unusual behaviour or conduct that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Urge employees to only take drinks off of colleagues that they know properly to prevent drinks from being tampered with.
If there are concerns with an employee’s conduct, observe their behaviour and try to spot any red flags that could be a cause for concern.