Son’s brownies earn felony charges
By Frank DeLoache
KANNAPOLIS ó When employees of China Kitchen restaurant started feeling nauseous, dizzy and sleepy at the same time Sunday night, one of the employees decided he better fess up.
Mark Lee, son of restaurant owners Mark and Wen Lee, told his dad he had added marijuana to a pan of brownies he brought for the employees, according to a Kannapolis Police Department report.
Someone called the Kannapolis Police Department, and when Officer David Horne arrived, Mark Lee acknowledged adding about $20 worth of marijuana to the brownies, Horne wrote in his report.
Six employees reported similar symptoms of nausea, dizziness and sleepiness, Horne wrote in his report. One employee, Edna Webster, 51, went to the hospital but apparently was not admitted, Police Lt. Bret Johnson said Monday.
Johnson said Lee, 22, of 220 Psalm St., has been charged with one count of contaminating food or drink with a controlled substance, a felony.
Michael and Wen Lee could not be reached for comment.
A very apologetic Mark Lee said Monday that he’s very sorry about what happened and that he takes full responsibility.
“I know now that it was a very bad idea, and I’m really sorry,” he said.
Lee said his parents have kicked him and his fiancée out of their house and fired him from the restaurant, where he had worked about a year.
Mark Lee said he got the idea because of Sunday’s date ó 4/20.
According to About.com Web site, “Simply put, 420 is a symbol of cannabis and its culture. Today, April 20th events are international, and 4:20 pm has become sort of a world wide ‘burn time.’ ”
Lee said he used to smoke marijuana but doesn’t any more, and he didn’t expect the marijuana to make his parents and their employees sick.
The Kannapolis police log listed six “victims” of the brownies: Edna Webster, 51; Juan Pio, 34; Mario Ramirez, 19; Michael Lee, 52; Stevie Kelly, 20; and Wen Lee, 48.
Mark Lee brought the brownies to the restaurant, located at 2115 N. Cannon Blvd., about 4 p.m.
“As everybody began to get increasingly ill through the day, the son confessed to his father,” what he had done, Horne wrote in his report.
Police got a call about 9 p.m. Sunday.