In the world’s enormous arsenal of offensive weapons, the Hot Pocket looks fairly innocent. A soft parcel of sweet or savoury filling, it’s hard for most of us to imagine doing any serious damage with something that should, on paper at least, just be delicious. But, as a recent case from Wyoming proves, looks can be deceiving.
Last week, 29-year-old Casper resident Levi Lucero was arrested after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend with a piping hot pepperoni pizza Hot Pocket. According to reports, the attack left the victim with savage burns on “the left side of her face and her left ear”. A witness, local resident Asra Drake, informed police that her friend had been injured after Mr Lucero had “thrown” the offending snack at her.
Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding the incident, the police report made it abundantly clear that this was no laughing matter. The original account from Ms Drake described the victim’s face as “blistering and falling off” after she had been struck, whilst the first cop to arrive on the scene, Officer Kerr, noted the evidence of significant “Hot Pocket sharpnel all over her neck and shirt”. This was only spotted as the victim was being carefully loaded into an ambulance.
As of this moment, the motivation behind the attack remains unclear. In an interview with police, the victim stated that the incident began when “Lucero....asked her to [go into the kitchen and] make him a hot pocket.” She did so, blasting the hot pocket in question in the microwave until it had become “very hot”. When she returned, Lucero became “hateful”, first throwing the victim’s phone towards her, before finally hurling the Hot Pocket. As she ran outside, “crying in pain”, she could hear Lucero breaking various items inside the house.
Lucero’s own account was less than compelling. When police arrived on the scene and interviewed him on his door, he allegedly “had the odour of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath and person”. When police finally managed to get a coherent response, Lucero defended his actions by claiming that it had been his girlfriend, who had “punched him in the nose while he was trying to eat”, that had prompted his aggression. When asked about his victim’s injuries, he replied, “I did not mean to burn her”.
Given the highly unorthodox headlines of the case, it would be tempting to not take the charge against Lucero too seriously. But, when you look into the facts, it becomes abundantly clear that even something as seemingly harmless as a Hot Pocket is still more than capable of inflicting injury. At this time, the police investigation remains ongoing, as detectives attempt to understand exactly what took place and whether or not to bring further charges against the perpetrator. The victim’s details have been given to the domestic violence division at Casper Police Department, which should make intelligence on any future incidents easier to come by. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how the situation develops.