An 18-year-old Nacogdoches resident is facing a felony charge in a food tampering incident in which police received a video of someone biting juice bottles before returning them to a store bin last week.
Christopher Grant Lewallen was booked into the county jail late Friday on a single, third-degree felony charge for tampering with a consumer product. By Monday, he had posted bail and was released.
The affidavit filed against Lewallen by Nacogdoches police identified him as the person who recorded a juvenile biting bottles of apple juice inside Kroger on University Drive last week.
Police did not release the juvenile's name or any possible charges against them.
On Wednesday, police were made aware of the video, which had been posted on social media that day.
"(The video) depicted a young white male subject picking up unopened bottles of apple juice, biting into them, and then placing them back into the display bin for unsuspecting customers to come into contact with the contaminated bottles," the affidavit against Lewallen said. "The video was also tagged with a banner mentioning “corona" and inferred he was going to be infected with COVID-19."
Both Lewallen and the juvenile "freely admitted" to the incident, according to the affidavit.
Police removed the bottles believed to have been used in the video, and store managers pulled the product from the display, said NPD spokesman Sgt. Brett Ayres.
"Working in conjunction with each other, the two subjects committed the act of threatening to tamper with the consumer product and causing fear by posting the video of the incident to a social media platform," according to the document.
Police have not released the video and attempts to find it on social media were unsuccessful Monday.
A social media trend of biting bottles of Martinelli's apple juice has gone viral in recent months. When the bottles are partially empty, the sound of biting one resembles that of crunching into a crisp apple.
Under the Texas Penal Code, third-degree felonies are punishable by between two and 10 years incarceration and/or up to $10,000 in fines.