LAYTON — A Subway employee deliberately put illegal drugs into a Layton police sergeant's drink Monday, causing the man to be hospitalized, investigators say.
Tanis Lloyd Ukena, 18, was arrested Monday evening and booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of surreptitious administration of a substance, a second-degree felony.
Ukena allegedly placed methamphetamine and THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, into the sergeant's cup during a drive-thru transaction around 12:20 p.m. Monday. Surveillance video from the Subway, 1142 E. state Route 193, shows the incident unfold, according to a Davis County Jail report.
"In the video, (Ukena) is seen filling the drink portion of the order at the drive-up fountain area," the report states. "For some unknown reason, he walks away from the fountain machine out of camera view. He then returns to the drink where he is seen spending what seems to be an unusual amount of time getting it ready to deliver to the sergeant."
The sergeant took several sips of the lemonade he had ordered and later reported that it "tasted funny," according to the jail record.
"The (sergeant) began feeling the effects of being drugged," the report says. "While approaching an intersection that had a red light, he had difficulty getting his foot to move to the brake pedal. (He) drove to the Layton Police Department, where he was observed to have signs of impairment. He was unable to process information and drifted off, and was unable to focus on questions being asked of him."
The man was taken to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where it became apparent that he remained impaired, according to Layton police.
Layton Police Sgt. Clint Bobrowski said the sergeant was in his police uniform and in a clearly identified police vehicle when he made his order. Investigators believe he was targeted because he was a police officer, "but we don’t know for sure," Bobrowski said.
"I know that the community here in Utah is overwhelmingly supportive of law enforcement, and we’ve experienced that over the last couple of months. … I think this is a very isolated incident," he said.
Bobrowski interacted with the drugged police sergeant at the police station, he said.
"He would have thoughts, but his body wouldn’t react to it," he said. "So if he was trying to move his arm, his arm wouldn’t move when he thought it should. He was having a hard time maintaining his focus. He was having a hard time maintaining his body. His body was jerking. And for a trained police officer watching him, it was everything I’ve seen in people who abuse illegal narcotics."
Bobrowski said the sergeant has since been released from the hospital and is resting at home with his family. He is scheduled to return to work after taking a few days to recover. Police declined to release his name.
Ukena told police he had taken the sergeant's order and also filled his drink, but "denied putting anything into the drink," the jail report states.
Layton police allege that an ion scanner test indicated meth and THC were in a sample of the same drink Ukena filled. A separate test also "tested positive for narcotics," the department said. It wasn't immediately clear whether those narcotics detected in the second test were separate from the methamphetamine and THC allegedly found in the drink.
Kris Meyers, the Subway franchise owner at the location where Ukena was working Monday, referred all comment to the company's corporate office. Company officials there could not immediately be reached Monday evening.
Bobrowski said the allegations against Ukena shouldn't alter people's perceptions of the Subway location itself.
"We’ve been grateful for the owners and the managers of the Subway restaurant," he said. "In no way is this a reflection on the ownership of the restaurant. They’ve been fully cooperative with our police department. We don’t have any fears for the safety of the public. They’ve been great dealing with us, and we would definitely encourage people that eat there to continue to do so."
The sergeant's experience after he was allegedly drugged also shows how dangerous impaired driving can be, according to Bobrowski.
"He clearly had a hard time being able to do a simple task of stopping at a red light," he said. "And that just shows you the dangers of driving while you’re under the influence."
The ordeal could have had a tragic ripple effect if the affected sergeant was needed at the time to respond to a life-threatening situation, Bobrowski said.
"Performing CPR on somebody would have been very difficult for him," he said.