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News / Clark County News

Manager accused of urinating in milkshake mix at Vancouver Arby’s

Court documents: Video of incident found on man’s phone during child porn investigation. Police searching for victims

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 13, 2022, 4:00pm

A Vancouver man stands accused of urinating into milkshake mix, which was then served to between 30 and 40 people, while working as a manager at the Mill Plain Arby’s restaurant in October.

Stephen S. Sharp, 29, appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on a new allegation of second-degree assault with sexual motivation. He initially appeared Wednesday on suspicion of four counts each of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Judge David Gregerson raised Sharp’s bail Friday from $5,000 to $40,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 25.

When detectives executed a search warrant on Sharp’s phone while investigating the child porn allegations, they found a 16-second video showing someone urinating into a bag of milkshake mix, according to a probable cause affidavit. The video’s metadata showed it was recorded on Oct. 30 at the Arby’s restaurant located at 221 N.E. 104th Ave.

Another manager at the Arby’s told detectives that on the day the video was taken, the restaurant sold at least one ice cream float and about 30 to 40 milkshakes, court records state.

An Arby’s spokesperson said in an email to The Columbian, “The alleged actions of the former franchised employee are abhorrent and unacceptable. We have taken immediate action with the franchise group who terminated the former employee and is fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation.”

Sharp allegedly admitted to police that he’d urinated into the milkshake bag at least twice but claimed he was “almost sure” that he threw the bag away after. The affidavit states Sharp said he was working alone in the restaurant that night and that he did it for sexual gratification. He told detectives that if he didn’t throw the bag away, it would have been added to other mix by the next shift and served to people, court records state.

The Vancouver Police Department asks anyone who purchased a milkshake from that Arby’s on Oct. 30 or 31 and has a receipt or verified transaction information contact Detective Robert Givens at robert.givens@cityofvancouver.us.

“The Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit has not located evidence that Arby’s or its franchisee was aware of the abhorrent actions of Stephen Sharp,” Vancouver police Sgt. Julie Ballou said in an email to The Columbian.

Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick said there is no significant health risk to consuming a drink contaminated with urine.

Pornography case

Detectives received cybertips about online and social media accounts suspected of collecting and trading child pornography, the affidavit states. A search warrant returned four videos of suspected child pornography shared on a video and chat app.

Investigators linked the accounts to Sharp, who allegedly admitted the accounts belonged to him.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Arby’s on May 17.