Polk County, Florida — On May 21, 2014, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 14-year-old Zachary Malvasia of Lakeland, a student at Crystal Lake Middle School, and charged him with one count Poison Food/Water (F-1) for putting hand sanitizer in his teacher’s water.
According to the affidavit, during the morning hours of May 20, 2014 the victim, Ana Morejon, a teacher at the school, stepped outside of her classroom to discuss a matter with the dean of students. While she was outside in the hallway, the students inside the classroom got out of their seats and lined up to get ready to head to lunch.
When Morejon came back into the room, she took a sip from the cup of water that sits on her desk. She noticed the water tasted funny, so she took another sip. She then took the lid off the cup and smelled the water, and detected the odor of hand sanitizer, which also sits on her desk. Detectives were told Ms. Morejon went to Bartow Regional Medical Center on the advice of her doctor to be evaluated because she was experiencing symptoms of not feeling well, including a headache and stomach ache.
During the investigation, the suspect, Malvasia, was identified by two student witnesses as the student who intentionally squirted Zep’s Professional Hand Sanitizer into his teacher’s cup. Deputies arrested Malvasia on the aforementioned charges and transported him to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
He did not give a reason as to why he squirted hand sanitizer in his teachers drink.