photo by Chloe / FOAP via getty images

If needed, hot chocolate can be used as a weapon

Mike Pomranz
January 17, 2018

On a cold winter’s day, nothing beats the comforting warmth of a delicious mug of hot cocoa. And hey, turns out that a cup of hot chocolate can also be pretty helpful if you ever find yourself being robbed at gunpoint… the hotter the better!

According to the Prince William County police, a mother and daughter were able to fend off a carjacker outside a 7-Eleven in Woodbridge, Virginia, in part because the 22-year-old daughter had the presence of mind to toss her recently purchased cup of hot cocoa at the armed robbers. Police said that a 50-year-old woman was leaving the convenience store just before midnight this past Sunday when she was approached by two men, one of whom brandished a handgun, demanding her vehicle. Apparently not content with simply handing over the keys, the woman hit one of the men with her bag before her daughter also exited the 7-Eleven and jumped into action with her hot beverage. Both robbers ran off, and both victims were reportedly left without any injuries.

Meanwhile, the hot chocolate was almost certainly unable to be recovered. However, that cocoa should know it gave its life to be remembered as a hero.

The potential dangers of hot coffee and other hot beverages have been well-publicized in the past with the most famous incident being the lawsuit of Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, a case McDonald’s lost. As a result, most cups now carry warning labels on them. Far less common, however, are discussions of how hot beverages can potentially be used as a weapon—something that does occur from time to time. This past September, Extra Crispy reported on a thief in the Atlanta area who was able to steal cash from an armored car by throwing hot coffee on the driver while he was servicing an ATM. Meanwhile, just last week, a woman tried to rob a gas station in Jersey City by dumping a pot of hot coffee on the clerk. (She was apprehended, reportedly with coffee pot still in hand.)

In the 7-Eleven carjacking case, hot chocolate was thankfully used for good instead of evil – no one likes it when a hot cocoa turns bad. But it’s important to remember that whenever you have a cup of hot coffee or chocolate or tea, you’re wielding more than your daily does of caffeine; you’re also holding the potential to do some serious scalding. With great power comes great responsibility.

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