Man pours bleach in coworker’s Pepsi can after argument in Volusia County, deputies say

Jerome Ellis, 48, faces charges

Volusia County Sheriff's Office (WKMG 2021)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man is accused of pouring bleach into his coworker’s drink after they got into an argument, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office arrested Jerome Ellis, 48, on Monday.

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According to an incident report, deputies responded to a Dollar General in DeLand and an employee reported that they got into an argument with Ellis on Sunday. The employee said they left an open can of Pepsi when they went to the restroom during a lunch break and when they returned, they took a drink and said it tasted and smelled like bleach, according to the report.

The employee called 911 and told his manager about the drink, prompting the two to move the can into a back room while they waited for authorities, deputies said.

Surveillance video was checked by the victim and it showed Ellis pouring bleach into the can, according to the incident report.

When deputies reviewed the surveillance video, they observed Ellis clean up the can before returning a few minutes later to spit in it, the sheriff’s office said. Video also showed Ellis trying to unplug the surveillance system at one point, deputies said.

The report shows Ellis told deputies that he put some of the bleach in the can to get back at his coworker for being difficult to work with.

The victim refused medical treatment, the report stated.

Ellis faces charges of poisoning food or water and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.