Cody Morris, 18, was arrested in Springdale, Arkansas, for placing soda in a water cup. According to sources, the customer refused to return the soda. However, there’s much more to the story than what has been reported.
ABC – Fayetteville reports that the restaurant manager attempted to stop the customer. However, the manager was unsuccessful. The report states that the McDonald’s customer hit the manager with his car during his escape.
The McDonald’s manager called law enforcement authorities to report a robbery. The customer allegedly walked into the restaurant after receiving a water cup in the drive thru. Once Cody Morris came into McDonald’s, he poured out the water and filled his cup with soda. This is what the restaurant manager told police.
The source notes that Cody Morris had done the same thing as two other customers. However, those two customers returned the soda. The McDonald’s manager stated that Morris did not.
When the manager attempted to stop the customer, Morris hit the manager twice with the vehicle. The first physical contact was when the car went into reverse. The second time was when the McDonald’s manager reached for the keys, which were in the ignition. The source mentions that the customer hit the manager’s hand — in order to prevent him from stopping his getaway — and then hit the man with the car again as he escaped.
Springdale Police mentioned that “The theft became a robbery when the alleged suspect allegedly used force to resist apprehension by the store employees.”
The police source mentions that the particular McDonald’s restaurant employees had the legal right to detain the suspect, under Arkansas statute 5-36-116. While the police source states that authorities would never advise civilian employees to put themselves in harm’s way, that is the company’s legal right. And each employee should use personal caution before and while proceeding.
Yet, ABC-7 News reported that police found Cody Morris’ car at a nearby bowling alley. He was arrested and charged with felony robbery. However, he was released on a $2,500 bond.
The source notes that the McDonald’s customer was booked at the Washington County Detention Center. Likewise, he has a hearing scheduled for Friday morning.
RT reports that the McDonald’s customer could face jail time up to six years and a $10,000 fine. However, the source doesn’t know or mention the extent of the manager’s injuries. The police source wants the public to remember that the McDonald’s customer is innocent until proven guilty.
All in all, although the McDonald’s customer and manager underwent a lot of unnecessary confrontation, on both sides, how much was the drink worth? Possibly $1.50, right? From either side of the situation, it wasn’t worth the trouble. Lives have changed due to pocket “change,” whether from the McDonald’s customer’s attempt to rob the restaurant of soda or the manager’s attempt to save the restaurant from the aforementioned incident.
As management, you have to wisely choose your battles. Just because you have the ability to detain the customer doesn’t mean you necessarily should. The degree of confrontation simply didn’t match the insignificance of the initial situation. This is not to say that the customer didn’t commit a crime. However, as Springdale Police mentioned, it was petty. It only turned into something greater after he was pursued in the aforementioned manner.
What if the McDonald’s customer had possessed a firearm in his vehicle? More than likely, the manager couldn’t have known this information upon pursuit. Likewise, what if the customer had completely backed over the McDonald’s manager in his attempt to get away. Is a cup of soda worth a life? It shouldn’t be.
The Inquisitr will continue to monitor this McDonald’s story as it develops. Please check back for more updates on this arrest. In the meantime, feel free to comment in the section below.
[Image via Washington County Detention Center]