A Charleston City Council member filed a complaint with police on Sunday in reference to a restaurant employee’s Twitter “threat.”
Councilman Harry Griffin, who represents Charleston’s District 10, contacted Charleston police after the tweet surfaced Friday night, when a former Taco Boy restaurant employee claimed to have asked kitchen staff to put bleach in the councilman’s food, according to the Charleston Police Department.
The suspect is identified by police as a 23-year-old woman who is a student at the College of Charleston, according to the incident report. The employee posted the tweet Friday before later issuing an apology, police said.
An investigation of the incident continues, the report said.
Taco Boy, a Mexican-inspired restaurant at 217 Huger St., posted on its Facebook page Sunday the worker is no longer employed there.
Griffin shared comments on the incident on Monday in a Facebook video, in which he said he accepted the worker’s apology. Griffin said he didn’t want to see her “life ruined by this.”
“I don’t want to see this following her around,” Griffin said.
“No matter what at the end of the day we’re all Americans, we love this country and deep down we all love each other,” he said. “We don’t want to see each other be harmed whether we say stupid things that we regret the next morning or not, we don’t want to harm each other.”
Griffin said he “fully believes” his food wasn’t tampered with and was correctly prepared.
He expressed willingness to sit down and talk with the worker.
“I think that would be really great for this community to see people from different sides of the aisle sitting down and working through their issues,” Griffin said.
Griffin shared the former food service employee’s Tweet on Sunday, adding, “What did I do to deserve this?”
Taco Boy then issued a statement on Facebook in which the company said it values respect, inclusivity and civility and encourages employees to “act accordingly.”
Griffin expressed disappointment in what he called an “extremely vague statement,” noting his efforts to advocate for the businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic for keeping the restaurant open and increasing its capacity.
“Every person that enters your establishment should be welcome, no matter their background,” Griffin said. “This isn’t a time to be vague. This is a time to leave politics out of business.”
Taco Boy issued a second statement Monday stating the employee had made up the bleach scenario.
The company said it has connected with Griffin to apologize and expressed gratitude for his public service and patronage.
The organization touted its foodservice professionals who the company said make food safety a top priority and work to maintain historically high S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control rating and standards.
The council member said he talked with the restaurant owner and vowed to continue to support the business after having a conversation with her.
Griffin said much of the hostility expressed toward him has to do with today’s political climate, and he vowed to get to know the employee in hopes they all can find a civil way to move forward.
Mikaela Porter contributed to this report.
Reach Rickey Dennis at 937-4886. Follow him on Twitter @RCDJunior.