An employee at a Major League Baseball stadium was fired and arrested this weekend after a video appeared to show him spitting on a pizza he prepared at one of the ballpark’s food stands.
The video was taken during a Friday game at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. The employee, clad in a ballpark cap and polo shirt, is seen hocking spit onto a pizza crust, then ladling marinara sauce on top. It’s unclear at which of the stadium’s food stands this occurred.
Fellow employee Quinell May filmed and posted it to Facebook and Instagram that evening, and the video quickly amassed tens of thousands of views and shares, catching the attention of managers at Detroit Sportservice, the company that runs the stadium’s concessions. A company spokeswoman said managers closed the stand in question and threw away any food that may have been contaminated.
Before the employee spat, he told May about his plan. That’s when May pulled out his phone, he said.
“I asked him, was he serious about that, was he really going to spit in a customer’s pizza?” May said during an interview with Detroit TV station WXYZ. “And he said, ‘Yeah,’ so I pulled out my phone to have proof, just in case he did it.”
May said the fired employee told him this wasn’t his first time, and May fears he could have been a serial spitter.
“He said he’s done it before,” May told WXYZ, although May said he hadn’t seen it before.
Detroit Sportservice has never had this problem at Comerica Park, said Victoria Hong, spokeswoman for its parent company, Delaware North.
“As soon as we became aware through social media of potential food tampering, we immediately closed that food stand, disposed of all the product and contacted the Detroit Police Department,” Hong said Monday in a statement to The Washington Post. She added that food safety is “our top priority” and said the company would “pursue all legal action to the fullest extent of the law.”