The invention of the spork is generally credited to a doctor named Samuel W. Francis who, in 1874, patented the spoon-fork-knife combo. Numerous similar inventions have popped up since then; however, the current spoon-fork design remains the most popular.
Nearly a century and a half later, the odd utensil remains a common sight in many to-go meals in America. It also became popular in prisons, as a safer alternative to giving inmates plastic knives or forks that could be fashioned into weapons. But even so, recent events prove that it’s still not impossible to hurt someone with a spork.
According to NBC Bay Area, on early Thursday morning, an 18-year-old woman was hospitalized after receiving several injuries to the face by a group of women armed with sporks.
Police said the woman was dining at a 24-hour restaurant in the 800 block of Mission Street in San Francisco at approximately 3:50 AM when she got involved in a fight with a group of at least four other women, the news station reported.
During the fight, the teenager was allegedly held down by the women, who slashed her face several times with the plastic utensil and then ran off with the victim’s cell phone.
Her injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, according to SFGate. However, the suspects, who police believe are between the ages of 18 and 20, still hadn’t been caught or identified as of Friday.
The restaurant wasn’t identified in news reportsm although MUNCHIES confirmed with a manager at Denny’s restaurant located at 816 Mission St. that the incident took place there. MUNCHIES reached out to Denny’s and the San Francisco Police Department for comment, and while we have not received a response from the SFPD, Denny’s provided the following statement: “Denny’s is fully cooperating with local law enforcement into their investigation of this incident. Our team called the police immediately, who arrived soon after.”
Spork attacks in America are extremely rare, although there have been sporadic incidents in recent years, including in jails.
Orlando Martinez, a Grady County Jail inmate in Oklahoma, was accused of attacking his cellmate with a spork in June 2017. Martinez faced a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, according to The Express-Star .
Then, in September 2017, the Times-Standard in Humboldt County, California reported that guards at the local jail had to use a stun gun on an inmate after he allegedly assaulted another inmate with a sharpened spork.
“After several verbal commands to get [Francisco] Mendoza to stop the assault, the deputy deployed his department-issued Taser,” reads a jail press release shared by the newspaper.
In December 2014, detention officials at the Lincoln County Jail in Merrill, Wisconsin told WSAU that a 32-year-old female inmate tried a stab a guard with a spork before spitting on three other officers.
In October 2010, 32-year-old Jimmy Rutherford allegedly tried to stab a deputy in Georgia’s Madison County Jail, the Madison County Journal reported. According to a report cited by the newspaper, Rutherford filed down a spork handle to a sharp point and tried to give it back to the deputy because he was afraid he’d get in trouble for having it in his cell.
Even guards watching enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba have faced spork attacks. On Christmas Eve in 2004, an angry prisoner couldn't finish his meal and used a plastic spork to stab a guard in the hard as he was collecting the tray, according to the Washington Post.
The spork: seemingly innocuous, secretly vicious.