NORTHWOOD, Iowa – Its advice that’s good to hear. If you’re out at a bar keep your eyes on your drink.That’s something one local bartender says she learned the hard way, in her small town pub.
Mandy Zipse works at the Shade Tree bar in Northwood and she never really worries about chatting with the locals.
But, on Tuesday afternoon, three men she didn’t recognize walked in. She poured them each a beer and left to help other customers. Mndy didn’t think twice about coming back to the bar and taking a sip of her pop she had left behind. But, she says it wasn’t quite the same drink.
“It smelled funny, it tasted funny. I just put it down and thought something is not right at that point. I kind of knew that they poured something in there, which I thought was just beer, but within like a minute or so my tongue went numb, I started sweating, I got dizzy,” said Mandy.
By that time the men were gone. She told her manager who told her to call police.
They then reviewed the surveillance video in the bar. Mandy tells us the video shows one man going behind the bar and possibly putting something in her drink. She says, the other man poured his beer into her pop and then swished it around.
“It was kind of a wake up call. It was kind of scary too, because at that point I didn’t know what they put in there. I was just glad we caught them on camera. I thought to have an open can of pop behind the bar you’d never think that you’d have to worry about it but, apparently that’s not the case,” said Mandy.
Worth County Chief Deputy Dan Fank says they are taking the case very seriously.
“Its concerning first of all.This is the first time we’ve had something like this reported up this way and with the people going into bars, it definitely gets the idea out there, don’t leave your drinks laying around or anything like that,” said Fank.
Fank says he’s hoping this is just a one time incident and not something that will become a trend.
“Definitely we’re going to be doing an investigation and see if this is just a one time occurrence, or do we have a problem and then react to that effectively,” said Fank.
Mandy hopes people understand that whether you’re the one serving the drinks or drinking them up. Never leave your drink alone.
“I just want all bartenders out there to be aware that anything can happen at any time, even if it’s behind the bar it doesn’t matter,” said Mandy.
Chief Deputy Fank says the pop is being sent down to the DCI for more testing.
We also asked if someone can be charged for just going behind the bar and pouring something in a drink. He says that will be up to the investigator and the county attorney.
The three men have not been identified.