For the past few years, White Castle has used the unofficial motto “The Crave is a Powerful Thing” and, on Twitter, the fast food chain encourages people to share their “crazy Craver stories” in 200-ish characters or less. Well, hold on to your hashtag, social media team, because this weekend’s #BoldCraver is probably the dude who went into an Indiana White Castle and made some meth in the men’s room. The crave… it is, in fact, powerful.
On Friday morning, the Indiana State Police were called to a White Castle in Hobart after a “one pot” meth lab was discovered inside the restaurant’s bathroom. According to NWI.com, one person was taken into custody, but by Sunday, that suspect had been released “pending charges.” Four officers from the Hobart Police Department were treated for exposure to the chemicals contained within the lab. WGN reports that the White Castle was cordoned off with yellow police tape for most of the day but, after an inspection from the local board of health, was allowed to reopen at 6 PM.
“We are proud of our White Castle team members who quickly alerted local authorities about a suspicious customer, and thankful for the Hobart Police department’s rapid response,” Jamie Richardson, White Castle’s vice president, said in a statement. “We are grateful to be part of a community where everyone looks out for one another, and works together to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
A one-pot meth lab is even less sophisticated than the name implies. It’s basically a plastic bottle—meth aficionados prefer Powerade or Gatorade bottles—filled with the necessary chemicals to make crank. This process is also extremely dangerous, because a soda bottle wasn’t designed for ultra-flammable chemical reactions involving corrosive chemicals.
"If you come across a Gatorade bottle and it has a white residue inside of it, that could potentially be a bottle that was used to make meth, so that's one sign,” Leslie Earhart, the spokesperson for the Sullivan County [TN] Sheriff’s Department said. “Also, a strong chemical odor.”
In 2015, Christopher Matous and Kent Duby were both arrested after police officers discovered an active, full-sized meth lab inside the Iowa Taco Bell where Matous worked. The situation was a new one for the county’s Department of Public Health who’d never had to de-meth a restaurant, as well as an embarrassment for Taco Bell, which presumably hadn’t dealt with an on-site meth lab before. “Both we and our franchisee find this completely unacceptable," Taco Bell said in a statement. "Although the suspicious items found in the restaurant were not used in the kitchen, the employee has been terminated.”
White Castle hasn’t commented beyond Richardson’s statement, but it might want to be more specific about what kind of “cravings” it’s talking about.