Trouble was brewing at McDonald’s Friday, and police in Lacey, Washington, are asking for help in identifying a suspect who they say flung hot coffee in a McDonald’s manager’s face. Investigators say the customer wasn’t happy with the 97-cent cost of the cup of coffee, reports WHIOTV.
The trouble started when the suspect entered the McDonald’s at the 500 Sleater Kinney Road Southeast location at 5:45 a.m. He ordered a cup of coffee, which he later poured into his to-go mug. He then demanded that the manager give him a refill. The customer proceeded to become verbally abusive with the manager over the price of the coffee.
After the outburst, the McDonald’s manager asked the customer to leave. That is when the man became irate and allegedly threw the hot beverage in her face.
As an aside, anyone reading this who is is familiar with the details in McDonald’s famous hot coffee lawsuits, probably winced at the thought of searing-hot coffee landing squarely in their face. To sum it up, McDonald’s coffee is much hotter than what you might brew at home. The restaurant keeps temperatures for their java somewhere between 176–194 °F.
Police said that the man fled after he assaulted the woman with the hot liquid. She suffered burns to her neck and was treated at the hospital for third-degree burns.
According to investigators, the suspect “may be transient and have mental health issues.”
The Lacey Police Department posted pictures of the suspect, and said that he is wanted for simple assault. In the post, they ask for the public’s help.
“Do you know this guy? He threw hot coffee in the employees face this morning.”
Coffee has been used as a weapon in arguments over McDonald’s prices before. In 2017, a violent altercation broke out at a 24-hour drive thru at a McDonald’s in St. Clair Shores in Michigan.
That incident happened when three men pulled up to the drive-thru in a gray Ford mini-van. According to WXYZ-TV, one of the men became upset over the bill, saying he had not been charged right. The group then broke the lock on the drive-thru window and threw coffee all over the metro Detroit McDonald’s manager.
Fast-food establishments such as McDonald’s see double the crime than is seen at their full service counterparts such as the Olive Garden. In 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that sit-down restaurants had 0.8 assaults for every 10,000 employees and fast-food restaurants had 1.8.