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Oklahoma police officer suing Taco Bell over alleged burning incident

Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 05, 2017

An Oklahoma City police officer is suing Taco Bell.

He claims the employees doctored his food to make it so hot it caused an injury to his throat.

The police officer said he had to take two weeks off work after eating a quesadilla from a Taco Bell.

He even had the leftovers tested, and what came back wasn't normal.

Oklahoma City police officer Shawn Byrne spends a lot of time being involved in the community.

In February, he was volunteering at an event at Putnam City Baptist Church, and stopped at a nearby Taco Bell on his way home.

He ordered a steak quesadilla, and it didn't taste quite right.

"By the time he took the third bite, apparently, was whenever his mouth started burning really, really bad," his attorney Brian Dell said.

It was so bad that Byrne went to the doctor the next morning.

He says he had severe burns on his throat.

He filed a police report, and the leftovers of that quesadilla were tested.

"The Department of Agriculture said there was an extremely hot pepper sauce on the sandwich and there was cologne in the sandwich also. Shawn does not wear cologne," Dell said.

Byrne was in uniform when this all happened and says the employees were laughing at him.

His attorney says they're convicted felons.

"There's the possibility they wanted to deliberately cause some harm or play a trick, if you will, on a policeman," Dell said.

Shawn's attorney says some at the police department have treated this like a joke, but a police spokesperson said NewsChannel 4 they thoroughly investigated the case, interviewed employees at Taco Bell, and even presented charges to the district attorney, but he declined them.

So, Byrne is taking his fight against Taco Bell to federal court.

"If indeed these convicted felons did it deliberately, then you have to assume that's exactly why they did it. They'd get away with it because it wouldn't cause the injury it did, it caused serious injury," Dell said.

In his civil suit, Byrne is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.