Editor’s note: This article has been revised to more accurately reflect the source of the information reported.
A Taylor’s Bar & Grill bartender is under investigation after being accused by five women of tampering with their drinks between May and October, the Register-Guard reported Thursday.
The University of Oregon Police Department, with Oregon Liquor Control Commission and Eugene Police, filed a search warrant affidavit with Lane County Circuit Court earlier this month to collect all of the recorded surveillance video from the business, including two cell phones, two digital video recorders and two USB drives, the Register-Guard reported.
The bartender has been suspended, Taylor’s owner Charles Hare told the Register-Guard.
“Taylor’s has fully cooperated with local authorities since it was first made aware of any potential drug activity occurring at its establishment,” Hare told the Register-Guard. “Taylor’s does not condone nor will it tolerate this behavior in or around its premises, and will continue to cooperate with the local authorities to investigate and address any instances of unlawful activity. In the interest of the safety of its patrons, any Taylor’s employee implicated in this matter will be immediately placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”
A representative of Taylor’s Bar & Grill declined to comment to the Emerald.
Earlier this month, the Emerald reported on two drug-related cases at Taylor’s. UOPD has not provided details on those cases.
The accused employee worked at the back bar of Taylor’s, the Register-Guard said. He was accused of tampering with the drinks of four female customers and another woman’s drink while he was a patron at a different bar.
The first report to UOPD was in May, when a woman said she was drunk at Fathom’s where the accused bartender was a patron, the Register-Guard reported. He bought drinks for her and for her friends, giving each a shot glass that appeared “cloudy,” the newspaper reported, citing the affidavit. All three left but with no memory of the rest of the evening, the newspaper said.
One of the women at Fathom’s that night got a free drink at Taylor’s from the accused bartender the next day, which also appeared cloudy, the newspaper reported. She woke up the next morning in a stranger’s house with no memory of how she got there, the affidavit obtained by the Register-Guard stated.
It also reported that another woman told Eugene Police that her beer was tampered with when she came to Taylor’s in August. After she drank a beer she ordered from the accused bartender, she went home with her boyfriend and awoke in the night “extremely disoriented,” the newspaper said, citing the affidavit.
She gave a urine and hair sample to the University of Oregon Health Center the following morning, the affidavit obtained by the newspaper states. Police are awaiting test results on those samples, the Register-Guard reported.
Another woman reported in September that she had been attacked by a stranger after she took drinks from a bartender at Taylor’s, the newspaper said. She didn’t know him, but was certain nobody had touched her drinks except the bartender. She said after consuming the drinks she was touched by a stranger but was unable to reject his advances or reach out to others for assistance, according to the affidavit obtained by the Register-Guard.
In October, another woman reported having a “fuzzy memory of walking home” after purchasing a drink from the accused bartender. She collapsed in a parking lot and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance, the newspaper reported.
An Oregon Liquor Control Commission investigator allegedly saw one camera was facing a wall on an investigative trip in mid-September, the affidavit cited by the newspaper states. A Taylor’s manager told the investigator that the camera was likely “knocked by an employee,” the Register-Guard reported. It was unclear if this camera captured footage of the back bar during the time of the incidents, the article reported.
UOPD was not immediately available for comment.