A New Orleans McDonald’s employee was caught on video allegedly choking and punching a customer who complained about cold fries, Yahoo Lifestyle reports. The employee wasn’t fired immediately and indeed may still be with the company, as of this writing.
The customer, whose name has not been revealed, was at a location on the Crescent City’s busy Canal Street when he received his order that wasn’t to his satisfaction. According to New Orleans’ WWL-TV, the customer had actually complained about the order not being right several times and, in the final iteration of his order, didn’t get his fries. When he complained, said a witness, he was given cold fries.
The customer admits that he was “abrasive” with the employee, but what happened next shocked the witnesses. The customer, who was vacationing in New Orleans with his wife, complained again, and this time, the employee had had enough. He allegedly began screaming at the customer before fellow employees pulled him away. The customer then allegedly followed the employee, at which point, the employee emerged from behind the counter and allegedly put his hands on the customer’s neck, as if to choke him.
“Then the guy started choking the customer, slammed him up against the self-order kiosk and punched him in his head,” the witness said.
You can watch video of the incident below, but be warned, the video contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
The customer didn’t fight back, for a couple of reasons. For one, “I’m a big boy,” he said, and indeed, in the video the man towers over the employee. For another reason, he didn’t want to be arrested in an unfamiliar city, finding himself locked up in jail while his wife was alone.
“What could happen to her on these streets,” he said.
A WWL-TV reporter stopped by the Canal Street McDonald’s where the incident took place on Tuesday, the day after the incident, and found the employee still working there. The employee didn’t want to talk on camera or be identified.
On Wednesday, a WWL-TV reporter went to the location once more, this time not finding the employee there. Whether that’s because he’d been fired or whether he simply wasn’t on the schedule that day isn’t clear.
The owner of the franchise, Chris Bardell, told local media that the behavior wasn’t what he expected of his employees. He promised a thorough investigation of the incident.