RENO, Nev. (AP) — Police have arrested a 43-year-old man believed to have doused two self-serve food bars with chemicals that caused multiple cases of apparent food poisoning at a South Lake Tahoe shopping mall.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department said in a statement that Harry Dally was arrested Tuesday after California officers searched his home.
Police said they believe Dally was involved in a series of incidents in which someone intentionally contaminated food at a supermarket restaurant and a Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, striking at least five times over two weeks.
The restaurants reported someone came in and poured an unknown substance over food items and left. The substance had a chemical odor, though officers have not yet said what they believe the substance may be.
A 12-year-old who ate tainted salsa at the Baja Fresh Mexican Grill was hospitalized over the weekend and later released.
Dally was arrested after police say they identified him on surveillance footage. He was being held in the El Dorado County Jail on suspicion of intentionally releasing a contaminating substance.
It wasn’t clear Wednesday if Dally had an attorney. He did not have a publicly listed phone number where someone could be reached to comment on his behalf.
Police said they found items in Dally’s home that they believe are related to the investigation. They said they have an idea of what the contaminating substance may be, but declined to offer more details.
The department said the information was being withheld until lab tests are finished and Dally is questioned.