Spiked tea sends inmates to hospital

Inmates at the Yavapai County Detention Facility in Camp Verde were hospitalized May 31 after ingesting a tea spiked with a cleaning solution.

According to a police report, 27 inmates were transported to Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood and were treated for what appears to be tea laced with a cleaning solution.

According to the report, several inmates began complaining of abdominal cramps, being nauseated and vomiting after supper at 5 p.m.

The report states that several inmates and a correction officer commented that the tea tasted odd and was stopped being served.

Emergency medical teams responded to the detention facility and transported three inmates, the report states, but detention personnel transported an additional 24 inmates later in the evening.

According to deputies, the County Hazardous Materials department initially identified the substance in the tea as a cleaning solution, but sheriff's deputies report that they have no further information.

Susan Quayle, public information officer with Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, said that information is still being obtained by the County as to what substance was put into the drink.

"We are still interviewing county employees and anyone who may be involved," she said. "But we haven't found out much yet. We do know that one dormitory was singled out and it was some sort of cleaning solution that was used."

She said that investigators and the County Haz-Mat department are investigating.

"We may find out what it was that was put into the tea, but we will probably never know who did it and why," she said. "It is almost impossible to get an inmate to inform on another inmate -- jail is a whole other world."

Deputies report that YCSO investigators are interviewing all parties who had access to the tea from the time it was made until the time it was served to the inmates.

According to the report, all 27 inmates were released from VVMC the same evening and have been returned to the Yavapai County Detention Facility in Camp Verde.

The YCSO reports that the investigation continues.

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