What started with two Taco Bell employees calmly eating lunch inside a vehicle turned into the highest casualty fast food incident in at least a month, according to police in Bartlesville, Okla. Authorities still don’t know what set it off, but one victim is in the hospital recovering from stab wounds, and one police officer was hospitalized after apparently suffering a heart attack.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Bartlesville police responded to a call at the Taco Bell on 3875 SE Green Country Road. The caller said that a stabbing had occurred, and officers arrived to find Taco Bell employee Benjamin Levi Walton acting “like a wild man” on scene.
According to reports from KOTV 6, bystanders called the police after Walton had begun stabbing his co-worker, who has not been identified. Apparently, Walton had been sitting with the other Taco Bell employee, eating lunch in a work truck. According to witnesses on the scene, also employees of the fast food restaurant, Walton began stabbing his co-worker “for no apparent reason.”
When the police arrived at the Taco Bell, officers reportedly attempted to subdue Walton with a taser multiple times, to no avail. Walton then lunged at an officer, struggled with him, and tried to unholster the policeman’s gun.
“That’s not normal behavior,” said Captain Jay Hastings, Bartlesville Police Department, who did not specify whether he meant normal behavior for Taco Bell patrons and employees or the populace writ large.
Officers eventually subdued Walton, though it reportedly took several of them, as well as multiple witnesses, to control the Taco Bell worker. After the suspect was subdued, though, the incident took another turn, as one officer on the scene suffered what appeared to be a heart attack. Bartlesville Police have not released that officer’s name, though Fox 23 reports that the officer was rushed to the hospital for surgery and is currently recovering in the intensive care unit.
Walton was taken to a county detention facility and booked for aggravated assault with a weapon and assault and battery on a police officer, as well as resisting arrest. The 49-year-old Taco Bell employee who was stabbed was taken to Jane Phillips Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police did not comment on whether Taco Bell’s culinary offerings played a role in the stabbing.
Taco Bell has been the locus of a number of bizarre crimes and assaults, notes the OC Register, which publishes a “Taco Bell Crime of the Week” column. Prior to Wednesday’s stabbing-and-heart-attack fiasco, the most recent occurred in Westlake, Ohio, and involved cannabis, medieval swords, and pepper spray. Two Westlake men told police at the time that they had met with a group of teenagers to practice fighting with swords in a Taco Bell parking lot. Because. Instead, they wound up in a car with the teens, getting pepper-sprayed and robbed for the marijuana they had been trying to sell. The two men were eventually brought up on trafficking charges, and the pot-crazed, pepper spray-wielding, sword-swinging teens may still be at large.
When its employees and patrons aren’t stabbing and macing each other – or robbing and shooting each other… or defrauding the government – Taco Bell is better known for its food offerings, which some consider to be an entirely other type of crime. Recent additions include the Grilled Stuft Nacho, a decadent chimera with ground beef, sour cream, cheese, the eponymous nachos, and what appear to be tomatoes, all wrapped in a tortilla and grilled to perfection. It’s available for $1.29, and you can be relatively certain that a Taco Bell employee didn’t lick it before handing it over to you.