June 7, 1995 in Nation/World

Cook Off The Hook For Spiking Eggs

Compiled From Wire Services

Putting Tabasco on eggs is not a crime, a judge said Tuesday.

Lebanon District Court Judge Alfred J. Cirone Jr. dismissed two counts of assault filed against Michael A. Towne, the 20-year-old night cook at a Denny’s Restaurant. Towne was charged with spiking the ham-and-egg sandwiches of two Vermont state troopers with Tabasco sauce last Feb. 7.

“New Hampshire’s simple assault statute was not intended to address a legal food product applied as an accompaniment to other food even if, as alleged in this case, it was applied for the purpose of causing discomfort to a person,” Cirone ruled.

Towne could not be reached for comment because he was at his day job, cooking bland food at a senior citizens’ residence, said Karen Bergstrom, one of his lawyers. Towne might get other work, however; he was asked to serve as an advertising spokesman for some brands of hot sauce.

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