Parolee pleads not guilty in Drano-tossing incident

A parolee accused of throwing Drano into the eyes of a Burlingame Safeway manager last week before stabbing him repeatedly with a fork pleaded not guilty to the bizarre attack.

Thomas Waddell, 46, appeared shackled and in a county jail uniform before Judge Kathleen McKenna, who ordered him back to court Nov. 27 for a preliminary hearing. McKenna kept Waddell’s bail at $300,000.

Prosecutors allege Waddell, who was living in Burlingame, entered the Howard Avenue Safeway late at night on Oct. 22. Clutching a bottle of Drano in one hand and bearing a fork attached to the middle finger of his other hand, Waddell asked to borrow the manager’s cell phone, according to prosecutors.

After the manager refused to lend his phone, Waddell allegedly walked out of the store with a bottle of salad dressing, then walked back in and began drinking a 7-Up, according to prosecutors.

When the manager asked Waddell to pay for his items, the parolee allegedly threw Drano into the manager’s eyes and stabbed him six times with a fork before employees stopped the attack, prosecutors said.

The manager was not seriously hurt in the incident, according to San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Waddell was convicted in 2004 of throwing gasoline on a bystander, Wagstaffe said.

tbarak@examiner.com

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