‘Sick and twisted individual:’ Florida man put laxatives in boy’s medication, deputies say

Suspect faces child abuse charge

Craig Ripple (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man is accused of tampering with a boy’s prescription medication to replace it with laxatives, causing the victim repeated bouts of gastrointestinal distress that warranted medical intervention.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation began in August 2019 when the victim’s mother noticed that items belonging to the 14-year-old victim and his sister were going missing and that the boy’s medication capsules had been dismantled and put back together with a pink tablet inside that she believed was a laxative based on information she found through Google.

The woman set up a security camera and the footage showed Craig Ripple pouring water on one of the children’s beds and taking their belongings, records show.

During the investigation, the woman told authorities that her son underwent a colonoscopy and endoscopy in 2018 due to persistent gastrointestinal issues but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, according to the affidavit.

Deputies said they spoke to doctors who told them the medical ailments spanned from August 2018 to July 2019, which is when the mother discovered the altered medication. After that time, records show the boy starting gaining weight.

A controlled phone call was conducted and Ripple admitted to tampering with the boy’s medication but claimed he inserted anti-diarrhea medicine in order to make the boy feel better, the report said. He also admitted to taking items from the children’s rooms and pouring water on the bed “out of spite” because he felt like he was being disrespected.

Ripple was arrested Friday after lab analysis found that 11 of the 28 capsules turned over to detectives had been tampered with to include laxatives, a news release said.

"This is a very bizarre case and it takes a sick and twisted individual to administer laxatives to a child without his or his mother’s knowledge,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I hope the courts deal harshly with him and that this is a wakeup call that this behavior is dangerous and will not be tolerated. Thankfully the victim was not significantly injured.”

Ripple is facing charges of child abuse and child neglect.

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