Customers Attack Employees in Separate Incidents Across Country

21 Dec, 2023 Liz Carey


Tulsa, OK ( – Drive-thru customers attacked a McDonald’s store in Tulsa, Okla. injuring several employees in one of many attacks on workers over the past two weeks.

Police in Tulsa said a group of customers who had been in the drive thru lane got upset with service at a McDonald’s on the city’s southeast side, Dec. 15. When one of the customers threw a drink at an employee working the drive thru window, the situation escalated.

The customers then ran into the restaurant, police said, rushed the kitchen and started to hit and kick the employees, as well as pull some of the employee’s hair. The irate customers also threw food and damaged equipment, according to a police report. One member of the group recorded the incident on their phone, police said.

When police arrived at the building, the group was running away from the store. Four of the suspects were arrested at the scene – two adults and two juveniles. The video recorded on the phone was used as evidence, police said.

None of the employees were seriously injured, according to court records.

Earlier in the week, a Chipotle employee was attacked over chicken.

In Lancaster County, S.C., police said they are searching for multiple suspects in the attack. On Dec. 10, police said they were called to the Chipotle in Indian Lake for an assault. When they arrived, they found several piece of hair on the floor that witnesses said belonged to one of the suspects in the assault.

Witnesses told officers a woman in the store order food at the counter had asked for extra chicken, but was told that the extra chicken would incur and extra charge. The customer and the employee got into an argument where “insults and expletives” were exchanged, witnesses said. Video by a witness of the event shows the female customers shouting at the employee across the counter.

At some point, the employee walked away and called her mother, who told the employee to “leave the restaurant.”

Shortly after the phone call, a teen boy with the female customer left the restaurant and a man walked in. As the employee tried to leave the restaurant, video of the incident showed the man approach the employee and “violently shove her to the ground,” police reports said. Employees, the man, the teen and the woman who asked for more chicken were seen in the video running around the dining room.

Witness video then showed the man striking the employee, pulling her hair and dragging her around the dining room. Later the woman is seen in the video hitting the employee and the teen boy was seen pulling and grabbing her to the point where she could not defend herself. The man then grabbed the employee by the hair and body-slammed her onto the dining room floor. Soon after, the family left the restaurant and employees at the store called 911.

“During review of the video, customers are seen fleeing the restaurant while others are looking on as if they are shocked as to what is happening,” the police report states.

The employee suspected that her left hand was broken in the attack, but she refused treatment at the scene.

Officials said police are still looking for the suspects.

In St. Louis, a customer attacked a Panda Express employee over food quality.

On Dec. 6, a man allegedly stabbed the employee and punched another worker after a dispute over his order. Phillip Person, 33, told employees he was unhappy with his food and wanted a refund. Managers said Person had already eaten half of his food and did not have a receipt for it when he demanded a refund. When employees refused, Person verbally attacked the employees and threatened to shoot them. The restaurant replaced the man’s food and he left the store, officials said.

However, Person returned to the store and threw the food in the employees’ face. When employees tried to escort Person out of the store, he attacked two of the employees  - stabbing one in the lower back and punching a second one in the head.

Officials said the suspect left the restaurant in a work truck, helping police to find and arrest him. Police said they found the knife Person allegedly used in the attack. The stabbed employee was taken to the hospital for treatment and later released.

In a statement, Panda Express said, “the health and safety of our associates and guests is our top priority,” and that the company is “grateful for the quick action of law enforcement and first responders.”

Person was charged with felony assault and weapons charges.

And in Madison, Wisc., two customers have been arrested after they attacked an employee because the restaurant was closed.

According to the Madison Police Department, two customers ordered a pizza from a Little Caesars and then came to pick it up hours later after the store had closed.

Police said the customers waited outside of the restaurant and attacked an employee who was leaving the business. The suspects punched the employee multiple times and then hit him with their car when they were leaving.

Officers said the investigation into the incident is continuing.

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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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