Police in California are investigating pop sensation Ariana Grande's July 4 "malicious licking" incident, in which she stuck her tongue on doughnuts that she didn't purchase at a bakery. (She also announced, "I hate America. I hate Americans.")
Grande and a friend were caught in the act on Wolfee Donuts' security cameras.
The shop's owner, Joe Marin, filed a report with Lake Elsinore police on July 7, and the video was released the next day.
Marin told local news outlets he hopes the report will result in "criminal charges" against Grande.
"What she did was wrong," Marin told the Press Enterprise.
Mayra Solis, 22, the employee who was working during Grande's stunt, posted the video on Facebook the day it was released calling Grande "rude an disrespectful," and a "sorry ass of a person."
Police officials told BuzzFeed News that they met with Marin to discuss the report he filed regarding "deliberate food tampering."
Public Information Officer Sergeant Mike Manning said in the statement that after watching the video, Lake Elsinore Police detectives said that Grande, 22, and her male companion appeared to "maliciously lick donuts."
Unfortunately for Marin, the investigation may have turned upon his establishment. The police are now working with the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health to determine whether "the affected donuts were disposed of or sold to another person."
Here's the full police statement:
On July 7th, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. Lake Elsinore Police personnel met with the owner of Wolfee Donuts located in the Lake Elsinore area concerning a report of deliberate food tampering. Lake Elsinore Police detectives learned Ariana Grande had been a patron of the donut shop on July 4th at approximately 11:30 p.m. While she was in the store, a video depicted her and another male appearing to maliciously lick donuts that were on a display shelf.
The Lake Elsinore Police Department is currently working with the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health on this investigation. It is not clear at this time if the affected donuts were disposed of or sold to another patron. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Master Investigator Pelato at 951-245-3300 at the Lake Elsinore Police Department.
Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.
Since the employee behind the counter apparently wasn't aware that Grande licked the pastries, an anonymous customer complained that she may have placed them back in the display case for sale.
After investigating the report, the local Department of Environmental Health found multiple health code violations in the establishment, reducing its grade from an A to a B.
"At least one of the violations was related to Ms. Grande's actions," Lynne Wilder, the Riverside County Department of Health public information officer, told BuzzFeed News.
"Having food on top of the counter is not allowed," she said. "You need to have it protected so customers like Ms. Grande cannot access the food without purchasing it."
Wilder said Wolfee Donuts will be given a week to amend their violations, and then will be inspected a second time.
Wilder was unable to speak to whether or not this will financially affect Wolfee Donuts, or whether Solis, the employee who "wrongfully placed" the doughnuts on the counter enabling Grande to lick them, will keep her job in spite of violating health codes and unknowingly endangering the health of other customers.
The morning the shop was found guilty of health code violations, Solis posted again on Facebook saying, "Fuck that bitch, gtfoh," presumably an acronym for "get the fuck out of here."
The video of Grande and her male companion sparked outrage.
On Wednesday, Grande first issued an apology to BuzzFeed News through her representatives:
I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I've always made it clear that I love my country [sic]. What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words.
As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole. The fact that the United States has the highest child obesity rate in the world frustrates me. We need to do more to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of overeating and the poison that we put into our bodies. ...
However I should have known better in how I expressed myself; and with my new responsibility to others as a public figure I will strive to be better.
Grande, who canceled her upcoming performance at the MLB All-Star Concert concert shortly after the doughnut-licking debacle occurred, went on to explain that this was due to her need to recover from "emergency oral surgery."
John Hall from the local district attorney's office told BuzzFeed News that they will only become involved once they receive a report from local law enforcement regarding possible charges against Grande.
Sgt. Manning told BuzzFeed News that a report has been filed, but they are not releasing any further information on the legal actions being taken.
Grande's representatives did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
As the video continued to circulate, celebrities took to Twitter.
Actor Rob Lowe implied that Grande's statement about childhood obesity wasn't sincere.
Susan Sarandon, apparently in earnest, called upon the American public to lick a doughnut "in solidarity" with the pop icon.
There is not yet evidence of anyone joining her revolution.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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