Benicia police have arrested a first-grade teacher on poisoning charges after she allegedly fed her co-workers marijuana-laced food at an employee pot luck.
Teresa Gilmete Badger, a 47-year-old teacher at Matthew Turner Elementary School in Benicia, was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of poisoning after a month and a half long investigation, according to Lt. Frank Hartig.
Police were informed in early December by Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams that a number of people reported feeling sick or possibly under the influence after attending a Nov. 21 after-hours employee potluck, Hartig said.
One female victim was admitted to a hospital for treatment that evening, and another was admitted on Nov. 22 complaining of chest pain and other symptoms, Hartig said.
Tests determined that victim had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, present in her blood, Hartig said.
Police determined that several other people reported feeling like they were under the influence as a result of the potluck, and that one had taken the affected food home, where a 15-year-old family member consumed it.
The juvenile later experienced some of the same symptoms, Hartig said.
Badger allegedly confessed her involvement to individuals who were also at the party, Hartig said, but she did not admit that to police.
Dave Padilla lives across the street from Badger and says he can’t believe the charges she is facing.
“This just doesn’t fit at all,” Padilla said. “I’m hoping this is really just a bad mistake.”
Police say Badger was arrested on three counts of poisoning Friday afternoon at her home on Clyne Court and booked into Solano County Jail in Fairfield in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Badger chose not to speak to arresting officers about the incident, Hartig said.
Adams could not be reached for comment.
Wire services contributed to this report.