Taco Bell Employee Guilty Of Threatening Co-Worker With Knife In Front Of Customers

Dear Taco Bell employees: If you’re going to threaten one another with knives (which, for the record, we do not recommend), kindly do so out of the view of customers; and certainly don’t threaten your fellow employee while he or she is in the middle of taking an order from a customer.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that last year, a Taco Bell manager in Lincoln, NE, spotted one employee holding an 8″ knife — taken from the restaurant’s prep area — against the back of a co-worker who was at the counter taking a customer’s order at the time.

The manager managed to get the knife out of her co-worker’s hand and fired him on the spot. She contacted the police, who arrested him the next day.

At first, he told officers that he’d only been joking around, but he later changed his story in court, saying it was he who felt threatened. He testified that the employee he’d held at knifepoint had said he was in a gang and had been involved in drive-by shootings. The defendant said he was only acting in self-defense.

He also claimed to have made complaints to the manager about this supposed gang-banger of a co-worker, but the manager not only denies that claim. She also cast doubt on his self-defense claim by saying she’d heard the man say he was going to stab the 17-year-old.

The prosecutor said this defense was “not even in the world of reasonableness,” and the jury seemed to agree, taking only about three hours to find him guilty of making terroristic threats and use of a deadly weapon.

He could face up to 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced in June.