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Police officer sues deli over pubic hair in food

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A police officer is suing a deli after its cook admitted to stuffing body hair into his bagel in revenge for a traffic arrest.

Patrolman Jeremy Merck from the Evesham Police Department in New Jersey ordered an egg, cheese and turkey bagel from the Good Foods to Go in Marlton, New Jersey in February last year.

But after a few mouthfuls, he was disgusted to discover it contained pubic and chest hair. :s

Merck, who is now seeking unspecified damages from the deli and its cook, immediately went to hospital to be checked for diseases - but none was found.

Ryan Burke, who served the bagel, later admitted to tearing hairs from his chest and pubic area and putting them into the snack in retaliation for a traffic arrest by the officer.

In 2009, Merck charged Burke with traffic offences and Burke, from Stratford, New Jersey later complained the traffic case cost him $4,400.

Following the deli incident, the New Jersey State Police lab found the hairs contained Burke's DNA.

The 27-year-old cook was charged with aggravated assault, retaliation against a public servant and food tampering. He received two years probation, fines, and 15 days in jail to be served on weekends.

He was also fired from Good Foods immediately after his arrest.

A police report from the criminal case said: 'Burke admitted to tearing out hairs from his chest and his pubic area and placing them on Ptl. Merck's sandwich out of anger due to the fines and lawyers fees he had from the prior arrest in 2009.

'Burke admitted that he did not like Ptl. Merck as a result of that incident and expressed that he shouldn't have to see Ptl. Merck at Good Foods to Go.'

Now Merck, 30, is seeking unspecified damages from the deli and its former employee.

The lawsuit alleges Good Foods to Go was negligent for failing to keep its premises safe and for failing to properly examine the sandwich he was served.

It also claims the deli failed to properly hire, train, and supervise its employees.

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Sounds like a fair case to me!

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Oh, that is nasty. Typically I read stories like this and it's someone way too sue-happy and entitled-feeling, but in this case it was entirely justified. That was deliberate, malicious, and more than just one odd hair that found its way there. GROSS.

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I have found pubic hair maliciously put in my food before - in a Chiquito's restaurant in Leicester. It was as a result of a complaint I had made over my starter, and then another over the main course (not even worth going into). I simply got up and left, as I had no desire to engage anyone working there, and have protested with my wallet ever since (by never stepping foot inside another of the chain, and telling the story). I don't think I'd have got damages. But seeing as this guy ate some - fair play!

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Did he order a liter of cola?

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When I find a hair I usually pick it out and eat on.

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When I find a hair I usually pick it out and eat on.

Same but its clear there were multiple hairs which makes it obvious that it wasn't an accident.

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That sentence they gave him seems pretty forgiving. I wonder how badly he'll get nailed in civil court.

My only gripe is that the officer is suing the deli too, and not just the individual.

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Voluntarily spoiling the food being served to customers is the worst form of customer service. The guy obviously messed it all up by mixing his personal experience with his professional activity. But the deli will suffer unnecessarily.

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That's why cooks should shave pubic hair.

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Quite harsh on the Deli unless they were engaged in encouraging this behavior

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ha ha ha

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Did he order a liter of cola?

I think this comment was lost on everyone, but I knew where you were coming from Trooper Farva :D

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That sentence they gave him seems pretty forgiving. I wonder how badly he'll get nailed in civil court.

My only gripe is that the officer is suing the deli too, and not just the individual.

True but a company is responsible for the actions of it's employee's

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He should be able to sue the person or the company...not both.

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True but a company is responsible for the actions of it's employee's

I believe that as well.

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