INDIAN SHORES, Fla. — A St. Petersburg woman was arrested Monday and charged with tampering with food. An arrest affidavit claims she peed in an ice cream churning machine and picked her nose and stuck her fingers in ice cream containers.
Indian Shores Police say the incidents happened at Lu Lu’s Ice Cream shop at 19823 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores.
According to arrest documents, Jung Soon Wypcha, who police officers say owns the adjoining Indian Shores Food Mart business next to the ice cream shop, was seen on video using the shared bathroom with the door open five different times in the month of June.
Arrest reports say she did not wash her hands after using the restroom. In at least one of those bathroom breaks, she walked over to a freezer containing cartons of ice cream and shoved her hands into the ice cream containers. On another occasion, cameras captured her picking her nose and sticking her hands in the ice cream. Wypcha was also seen on surveillance video spitting into the ice cream containers.
On a final occasion, Wypcha allegedly used the ice cream churning machine as a makeshift toilet then emptied her urine in a sink used to rinse out ice cream equipment and bowls.
Indian Shores Police officers say all the incidents were captured on video surveillance.
According to arrest records, Wypcha caused $2,000 worth of damage to the products and the store also had to close down to clean equipment and throw away any tampered ice cream products.
Officers arrested Wypcha on July 8 and charged her with criminal mischief and violating Florida’s Anti-Tampering law.
An attorney for Wypcha tells ABC Action News it is too early to comment on the arrest.
Paul Chiulli and his wife Beth, who own Lu Lu's Ice Cream shop say they are devastated. “Stuff like this can ruin our business and can ruin our lives,” Paul Chiulli explained.
“It just breaks my heart,” Beth added with a sigh.
Paul Chiulli believes the dispute may have started over the ice cream shop's growing popularity and disputes over parking spaces in the lot the businesses share.
“We didn’t even know she was mad. But I’m guessing it’s from the parking and us being popular,” Chiulli elaborated.
Chiulli says they are upset but won't let the crime impact their livelihood.
“We’re the type of people that brush ourselves off and pick ourselves up and we'll go back to doing what we do best: Serving good Ice cream to the community,” he explained.
Chiulli says they threw out all the frozen treats in the store and restocked with fresh products. They also cut off access to the back room and bathroom shared between the two businesses. Chiulli says they hope to reopen the store on Wednesday, July 10th.
Daniel Bozarth, a customer of Lu Lu's, says it's upsetting. “That’s a shame to hear this happened because Lu Lu's owners are very nice people," he said.
“We feel like we just woke up in the middle of a war that we didn't even know was going on. This is pretty scary. I never wanted to be famous and certainly not like this!!! We just wanted to sell ice cream on the beach and make people happy," the Chiullis wrote in a message to ABC Action News Reporter Sarah Hollenbeck on Facebook.
Arrest records show Wypcha bonded out of jail but she did not answer the door at her home on 37th Avenue North in St. Petersburg when ABC Action News crews knocked Tuesday.
Her husband, who was manning the food market on Tuesday, refused to comment on the arrest.