A Taco Bell in Maryland was harassed over the weekend by a man pretending to be a law enforcement officer. The suspect, Robert Knickerbocker, was in the drive-thru at the popular Mexican fast food eatery in the early hours of June 15 when he refused to pull forward in his Mercedes 300D after placing his order. He began honking his car horn and shouting obscenities out his window, and the Taco Bell employees were forced to call the police.
When the Anne Arundel County Police showed up, they detected a strong scent of alcohol coming from Knickerbocker, and they noticed his eyes were glassy and unfocused. The suspect then told the officers on scene that he was a police officer with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The officers were able to determine that Knickerbocker was not employed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and they proceeded to administer a series of field sobriety tests, which Knickerbocker failed.
Knickerbocker had placed his order, but refused to pull up when asked by the Taco Bell drive-thru attendant. Taco Bell was recently in the news when three men shot and killed a teenager at a Aurora, Colorado restaurant earlier this month. Colorado police still have not apprehended any suspects in that case.
This marks another chapter in a series of incidents that have taken place at Taco Bell in recent years. Taco Bell is well known for staying open late and offering affordable food items, and in so doing, invites the possibility of troubles, especially when alcohol is involved.
In 2012, a man was shot and killed at a Taco Bell drive-thru in Arizona. The shooter was indicted on second degree murder charges and was found guilty of manslaughter.
In Alabama, two teenage Taco Bell employees beat and shot their night manager in March of this year. Both men are awaiting trial for the crime.
In January, a man was shot and killed at a Taco Bell in Virginia during a robbery. The suspect was arrested and charged with four counts of murder.
Earlier this month, a shooting at a Taco Bell in Tyler, Texas, resulted in an arrest after the shooter turned himself in. No one was harmed in the incident.
Taco Bell is usually known for its unique Mexican-inspired food and clever advertising campaigns, but recent events have shed a dark light over the popular eatery. Patrons at Taco Bell should be more concerned about the quality of the food and less about whether or not they will get shot or worse. How soon until Taco Bell changes their hours of operations or hires security? This series of incidents proves that something needs to be done to ensure the safety of customers sooner rather than later.