For Sgt. Timothy Wall, an incident that led to a career-ending injury at a Starbucks could have been easily avoided. Wall is suing Starbucks for negligence, although Starbucks is not admitting any wrongdoing, according to CBS New York.
The problems all started with a Midtown New York Starbucks at 39th Street and 8th Avenue giving away free food and drinks. Wall had warned the company for over a year that they needed to change the policy on giving free food to emotionally disturbed patrons, but Starbucks continued to do it anyway. He warned the company that “someone was going to get hurt” and gave them suggestions on how to give away food in a safer manner.
This Starbucks location, in particular, is known for having problems with harassment, assaults, and drug use in the bathroom. Wall also alleged that a homeless man once urinated onto employees from the second floor, detailed Newsweek.
On September 28, 2017, Wall was the one that ended up getting hurt when he responded to a call for a “disturbed and violent individual.” A 24-year-old homeless man, Montclair Mobley, was angry about a free croissant that was given to him and wanted a “time machine” so he could go back in time to get better free food. Mobley then went to grab a bag saying that he was going to kill everyone there.
Since nobody knew if the man had a weapon, Wall went to restrain the homeless man. In the process, he dislocated his shoulder and tore his labrum. He had to go through surgery to get seven anchors in his right shoulder and has to attend physical therapy three times a week.
Meanwhile, a Starbucks security guard that was inside the store was a bystander and did nothing to help other than point the problem out to Wall.
Although Wall is only 33-years-old and has always had aspirations of becoming an NYPD police officer, it appears that he is headed for early retirement. For now, he’s working a desk job and predicts that he’ll be on disability soon. This is a crushing reality for Wall because his dad and brother are both police officers, and he wanted to follow in their footsteps.
Starbucks says that the incident occurred as “part of culpable conduct” and the injuries were part of the “assumption of risk” for a police officer. They also deny that free food was involved, saying “no free food was provided nor precipitated this incident.”