A teenager in Wisconsin has admitted to spiking his stepdad’s energy drinks as practical joke with tranquilizers used for cattle.
According to court documents, Tyler Rabenhorst-Malone, 17, has been charged with placing foreign objects in edibles and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
The trouble started in December 2017, when Rabenhorst-Malone’s mother reported the theft of prescription medicines to the Rock County Sherriff’s Department. At the start of January, his mother and stepfather noticed that a box of Oxytocin containing the sedative Rompun (Xylazine) had gone missing from their barn near Lima. The stepfather explained to the court that the sedative was used on their cattle, particularly when having to assist cows with the delivery of calves.
Then on Jan. 28, 2018, the stepdad went to a hospital after experiencing a droopy face, slurring words, heavy breathing and stumbling. MRI’s by the University of Wisconsin hospital did not show any problems. Doctors attributed the symptoms to consumption of energy drinks, stress and a lack of sleep, at the time.
Rabenhorst-Malone was expelled from high school on March 15, 2018, after hacking the school email system. This left Rabenhorst-Malone around the house and in the barn more than usual.
On April 1, 2018, the stepfather experienced the same symptoms he had during January and began cutting back on his consumption of energy drinks. During this point Rabenhorst-Malone’s mother noticed her son was acting strange and thought he might be messing with his stepfather. At this realization the stepfather began to cover his drinks to prevent Rabenhorst-Malone from possibly putting something in his drinks. After that the stepdad stopped having symptoms.
The stepdad then turned in a partial bottle of energy drink to the police department to examine because he thought it had been tampered with. The stepfather also turned in two syringes that he found hidden in the barn because he had noticed Rabenhorst-Malone had been hanging out in that area.
An employee of the farm was contacted by police on April 9, 2018, and confirmed that Rabenhorst-Malone had openly told the employee he had been pulling pranks on the stepdad. These included putting blankets over his face while sleeping, tying up his hands and punching his ribs.
Tests by the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory determined the presence of the animal tranquilizer Xylazine in the syringes and energy drink.
Rabenhorst-Malone admitted to spiking the energy drinks after being interviewed by a deputy on Feb. 7, 2019. In his emotional comments Rabenhorst-Malone said he never wanted to hurt “dad” and he thought that putting the sedatives in his energy drinks would be funny.
For the count of placing a foreign object in edibles, Rabenhorst-Malone could face up to a $10,000 fine and/or a prison sentence of 3 years and six months. The recklessly endangering safety charge has a maximum $25,000 fine and/or 10 year prison sentence.