Teenager drinks Arizona iced tea, puts it back on the shelf, winds up in jail

Photo: Jeff Greenberg (Getty Images)

Don’t put your mouth on things you’re not going to subsequently purchase. You would think that this is a given, that people are innately aware of the hazards that can emerge from recklessly placing their uniformly filthy mouths on objects that will belong to someone else at some point. (Isn’t this a kindergarten lesson? You touch that cookie, it’s yours.) Yet between a recent incident in Texas, and all of that ice cream business from earlier in the month, it’s apparently still an issue up for debate.

West Texas news station KOSA reports of an arrest made at an Odessa, Texas grocery store earlier this week. A 15-year-old boy was arrested after security footage caught him drinking from a bottle of Arizona iced tea before placing it back on the shelf. Through a sworn affidavit, local police attest that “...the teen told the asset protection manager before the police officer arrived that he spit in it. The police officer says the teen repeatedly told him that he took a drink of the tea, then put it back, because it was ‘gross.’” The boy is currently being held in a county juvenile facility.

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While it’s key to remember that doing something like this is as gross as the young man found the iced tea, it does seem like the punishment is not entirely befitting of the crime, when bearing in mind that the charge against him (“tampering with a consumer product”) is a second-degree felony. While we at The Takeout would very much like for people to stop putting their mouths on things that are not theirs, we’re also not going to go as far as a permanent legal scarlet letter in calling for retribution.

But one more time, before we go, to let the lesson really sink in: do not lick, suck on, or otherwise physically defile goods on a store shelf. Please? Please. Everyone will sleep easier, and nobody will end up in jail.

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