Sandwich sends man to surgery

October 01, 2000

Sandwich sends man to surgery


A Westminster, Md., man was hospitalized after swallowing pieces of metal that apparently were inside a sandwich he purchased at a city restaurant Saturday, Hagerstown City police said.


Michael Patrick Holland, 28, was listed in good condition at Washington County Hospital Sunday evening after biting into a hamburger, cutting his mouth and swallowing what police believed to be metal pieces at McDonald's Restaurant, 330 E. Washington St.

"At this time, the origin of the metal pieces, that were small and sharp, is unknown," said Hagerstown City Police in a press release.

Police said they have received no other reports of similar injuries to customers and are continuing their investigation.

Mark Levine, owner of McDonald's restaurants at 330 E. Washington St. and Dual Highway did not return a phone message left at his office Sunday. Employees at his stores referred questions to Levine.


Holland said in a phone interview that he had come to Hagerstown Saturday afternoon with his grandmother to go shopping and decided to stop at McDonald's around 1:30 p.m.

After walking inside and ordering a hamburger, french fries and a drink, he and his grandmother sat down to eat. The restaurant was filled with families with children eating lunch, he said.

A fast eater, Holland took two quick bites and noticed a sharp pain in his throat as he swallowed the first mouthful.

"It was like swallowing a whole potato chip," he said.

It was after attempting to swallow the second mouthful he found a large piece of metal lodged inside his mouth.

"It was in there like a kickstand," Holland said.

Holland's mouth filled with blood and he reached in and found small pieces of metal lodge inside his gums.

"I spit my food out and my grandmother said 'What are you doing?'" he said.

Someone at the restaurant called 911 and an ambulance took him to Washington County Hospital, he said.

Holland said physicians operated on him when he arrived and tried to remove the metal from his stomach but it apparently had gone into his intestines, he said.

Doctors then told him to wait and see if the metal would pass in his stool, he said.

"You never think something like this will happen to you," he said.

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