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Independence man accused of giving co-workers gum laced with body fluids

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

What one Independence man is accused of doing with chewing gum may have people thinking twice about accepting a piece at work.

An arrest warrant for Robert "Chase" Brown indicated he "poses a danger to the community as demonstrated by his contamination of food products."

According to the misdemeanor assault charges against the 23-year-old grocery store clerk, he "blogged references to unwrapping single sticks of chewing gun and then applying his own ... (body fluids) ... to the gum."

The posted photos and captions were on a pornographic website and included photos of female co-workers as well as photos of gum on a paper plate, once alongside a white fluid, another time soaking in a yellow fluid.

"I couldn't do that to anybody," said Brown's neighbor, Joseph Stockbridge. "That's just filthy."

A written police statement filed with the charges indicates a woman who worked with Brown received an anonymous message on her Facebook page March 11 directing her to the pornographic site "because someone had posted pictures of her and embarrassing information."

The statement lists 10 victims, all female co-workers.

One of those victims indicated Brown worked at a Price Chopper located at Interstate 35 and 291 Highway in the Northland.

She said the women ranged in age from late teens to late 30s. Two assistant managers approached by KCTV5 had no comment.

Some of the women interviewed by police said they declined the chewing gum Brown offered them at work. Others said they accepted.

One, labeled in a photo on the site as "my other test subject," said Brown acted weird when she accepted and stayed to watch her chew it.

Another said she found video on the site of herself and another co-worker chewing gum he had given them. She told police "the gum had an 'awkward' smell, texture and taste."

A brief look at the site suggests it is a place where members post rather ordinary photos for other members to alter by adding images of an explicit nature, something one victim described off-camera as "demeaning."

Police indicate they interviewed Brown on March 13, and he admitted that some of the women's photos were ones he copied from their Facebook pages without their permission.

Others, he told them, and the video, came from "a 'spy camera' that was concealed under his work apron."

He told police the gum he gave them had not been soaked in an actual body fluid but in colored water. He also said, in the words of the detective writing the official statement, that "he hated himself every time he did it and did not know why he did it."

KCTV5 sought comment from his mother at the home he shared with her in Independence. A man at the home indicated she was not home. 

Shortly thereafter, a woman who appeared to be in her 40s or 50s asked the reporter and photographer to leave the neighborhood.

Brown is being held in jail on a $5,000 bond. He is charged with five counts of assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

The court documents list 10 victims located in the "blog photos" but gives statements from only five of them. One victim told KCTV5 police intended to interview the rest of the women later in the week.

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