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NJ Cop Sues Deli Over Revenge Bagel With Pubic Hair

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 03, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Sometimes, revenge isn't so sweet. Just ask Ryan Burke. He's being sued for putting pubic hair in a bagel sandwich ordered by Evesham police officer Jeremy Merck.

Merck frequented Good Foods to Go deli in Marlton, N.J., where Burke was a cook. But Merck also happened to be the arresting officer in a 2009 traffic arrest that cost Burke $4,400 in legal fees.

In February 2010, Burke took revenge. He laced Merck's bagel with pubic and chest hair. And he got caught.

Ryan Burke admitted to placing hair in the bagel, and served 15 days for aggravated assault, retaliation and food tampering, reports Reuters. He also confessed to having done so for revenge.

But Officer Jeremy Merck has decided to take civil action. Aside from the trauma of eating pubic hair, he had to go to the hospital to test for communicable diseases. He's also constantly reminded of the incident by his colleagues.

Ryan Burke will likely be held responsible for any damages. But what about the deli? Good Foods to Go is also a named defendant.

As a general rule, employers are not liable for intentional torts or criminal acts committed by employees. However, Merck's attorney told that the deli did not adequately train Burke and failed to recognize the conditions that led to the incident.

Jeremy Merck is thus asserting that Good Foods to Go failed to tell Ryan Burke not to put his pubic hair in bagels. And that the deli should have somehow known that he would place hair in Merck's bagel. Thoughts?

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