Man charged for spraying rat poison on grocery store food
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) - He was spotted spraying a mysterious liquid on a salad bar at the Whole Foods market in Ann Arbor and investigators say that's not the only store he's hit.
Charged for spraying a mixture including rat poison onto food in several grocery stores in Washtenaw County, 29-year-old Kyle Bessemer faced an Ann Arbor judge Thursday.
"It's a very scary crime that happened," said Brian Mackie, Washtenaw County prosecutor. "Thankfully as far as we know, nobody has been hurt."
Bessemer was charged with two 15-year felonies for knowingly poisoning people and two 20-year felonies for poisoning property causing damage.
Ann Arbor police and the FBI say Bessemer confessed to mixing Tomcat rat poison, hand sanitizer and water. He then sprayed it onto food at least three Ann Arbor grocery stores including Whole Foods, Plum Market and Meijer.
"On April 22 he purchased rat poison specifically for a salad which is an anti-coagulant that causes rats to internally bleed."
Investigators say Bessemer has a history of mental illness and told police he poured the poison onto produce because someone was trying to poison him.
"So he's going all over pouring this rat poison because he knows people are going to ingest it," Mackie said.
State health officials tell FOX 2 there could be a dozen other stores across Michigan that Bessemer may have also targeted in Saline, Midland and Flint.
The Midland native says he's been living in Ann Arbor, is unemployed, doesn't attend school and receives supplemental security income along with money from his father every month.
He said he receives about $3,000 per month.
Calling Bessemer a serious risk to the community, prosecutors on Thursday stressed that Bessemer targeted two stores within hours - purchasing the pesticide at Meijer and purposely mixing them to poison people. Police finding receipts on top of eye-witness testimony and clear surveillance video.
Bessemer is due back in court next week.
Bessemer is being held on a $250,000 cash bond and if he can pay that, he will be held on house arrest.
Busch's 2240 S Main Street Ann Arbor, MI
Cupcake Station 116 E Liberty Ann Arbor, MI
Family Fare 2026 North Saginaw Midland, MI
Kroger 3838 Richfield Road Flint, MI
Meijer, #108 7300 Eastman Ave Midland, MI
Meijer, #64 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline Ann Arbor, MI
Meijer, #213 9515 Birch Run Rd Birch Run, MI
Millers Mini Mart 3001 Bay City Rd Midland, MI
Plum Market 375 North Maple Ann Arbor, MI
Target 2000 Waters Road Ann Arbor, MI
Tsai Grocery 3115 Oak Valley Drive Ann Arbor, MI
Walmart 910 Joe Mann Blvd Midland, MI
Walmart 7000 E Michigan Ave Saline, MI
Whole Foods 990 W Eisenhower Pkwy Ann Arbor, MI
Whole Foods 3135 Washtenaw Ave Ann Arbor, MI
If you need more information contact Michigan Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.