The complaint has been investigated and
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Resolved
McDonaldsout of control franchise owner

On Sunday, June 14, 2009, my son returned home visibly shaken and crying. He remorsefully explained to his father and I that he and two (2) of his friends were at McDonald's on Broad River Road and Dutch Square Parkway. A schoolmate, which is also an employee of McDonald's, and my son were horseplaying in the establishment’s parking lot. During the horseplay my son threw a rock at the other young man. The rock bounced off the ground and accidentally hit the bottom left door glasspanel. The glasspanel shattered and broke.

My husband and I reprimanded our son for throwing the rock and immediately took him back to McDonalds to apologize, face the consequences and find out the cost. Upon arriving at McDonalds we were met by two (2) Richland County Sheriff’s Deputies. They commended us as parents for retuning with our son and they realized it was an accident. Our son spoke with the Deputies. He was still visibly shaken but also remorseful and embarrassed. As soon as we exited the car a gentleman, who was fixing the window, began speaking loudly. He stated, “Is this the damned genius that broke my window?” our son proceeded, with the Deputy, toward this gentleman. As our son apologized the gentleman never looked up or responded. This statement, as well as the remaining derogatory statements, were all made in the presence or within hearing distance of the Richland County Sherriff’s Deputies.

As the Deputies spoke with me and my husband the gentleman continued to barrage us with hostile insults. My husband stated to the gentleman that what he was saying was not necessary since we came to resolve this issue. Mr. Clark began stating that I was the type of mother who after her child shoots someone I’d still defend his wrongdoings. Up to this point I never said anything to the gentleman because I didn’t even know who he was. One of the Deputies identified him as the owner. I stated, “He may have had a bad day and I understand him being angry.” Mr. Clark then stated, “These people are nothing but ###s. These ###s make me sick.”

At this point I requested that the Deputies ask Mr. Clark for a business card and stated to the Deputy, “Based on his visible anger, hostility, profanity and derogatory remarks I will not personally call him. I’d request a Mediator or an Attorney communicate with Mr. Clark for quotes and payment information.” The Deputies felt that this would not be necessary and Mr. Clark would soon “cool down” and that we would be able to talk. This unfortunately did not happen. The situation only escalated. Mr. Clark continued to work or walk back and forth to his vehicle. As he passed us (Deputies, myself and my husband) he continued with the derogatory remarks, at one point chuckling and making a comment about the President. Mr. Clark stated, “I am sick and tired of these kids coming in here, but I’m sure that by this Friday or Saturday after the movies I’ll be able to handle the other two (2) boys because they’d be dumb enough to come back in here.”

Since this bombardment would not stop I again requested that I be allowed to complete an incident report stating the language that Mr. Clark was using was threatening and derogatory. The older Deputy refused stating, “Unfortunately, Mr. Clark can say whatever he wants. We can’t stop a person from speaking.”

We continued to wait for two (2) other Deputies to bring the required paperwork. When the paperwork was complete for our son the older Deputy went to speak with Mr. Clark. When the Deputy returned he requested my identification. I asked, “Why?” He stated that Mr. Clark wanted to complete a trespassing complaint against me and my husband. Now at-this-point, my husband nor I, had ever been asked to leave the property by Mr. Clark or the Deputies. The only reason we were on the property was at the request of the Deputies.

Mr. Clark was in his vehicle with the engine running. My husband and I and the Deputies were standing at the rear of the police car completing the paperwork when Mr. Clark got out of his truck, walked behind me and began stating, “You are damned ignorant. That’s why you’ll see your kid wind up in the casket.” I stated (without ever turning around or looking at him in his face), “Sir I am not saying anything to you so please do not speak to me.” Mr. Clark would not move and responded, “This is my property and I can do or say what I please.” My husband told him, “Do not to speak to my wife like that.” He began to mock my husband’s speech deficit (Aphasia) and continued to walk closer to him as if he were going to physically attack my husband; who is also an amputee. My husband cursed at him and he in return cursed my husband. My son got out of our car and stated, “You don’t curse my mother or father especially my mother.” Our son also brought to the Deputies attention the “casket” comment (which the Deputies heard); asked them and Mr. Clark if that wasn’t a threat.” I escorted my son to the vehicle and told him to get in and be quiet. He did. The older Deputy got in between my husband and Mr. Clark. Mr. Clark did not back down until the older Deputy raised his voice stating, “Benny, Benny that’s enough.” The Deputy escorted Mr. Clark to his vehicle and Mr. Clark sped off.

I am still very shaken up by the public verbal attack and lack of reasoning Mr. Clark exhibited. This incident occurred in the parking lot where patrons were utilizing the drive-through, customers and employees were inside peering out of the window. I am very concerned about the Trespassing complaint. My husband is a former City of Orangeburg Firefighter, Police Officer and State Corrections Officer. Our son is a rising Senior with no academic or disciplinary problems. We are law abiding citizens who acted with the intentions of bringing our son back to the scene, face the consequences and apologize. I do not encourage anyone to leave the scene of an accident but in this case based on Mr. Clark’s public display of rage, anger and profanity I shutter to think what may have happened if our son would have remained at the scene and encountered
Mr. Clark without his parents present.

This incident occurred in June. In July I wrote McDonald's Corporate office and still have not received a reply. I ask anyone who is in the Columbia area, goes to the Dutch Square movie theatre or any of the neighboring schools to think about which McDonald's they patronize or have their children/teens patronize. When an adult exhibits such out-of-control behavior and uses such "ugly" words; I wonder what he can tell his employees about customer service. It is also my understanding that law enforcement is very familiar with his temperament. Sounds like Mr. Clark is accustomed to being a bully and getting away with it and I guess McDonald's Corporation is focused on their profit margin not the behavior (or lack thereof) of who displays their name and sells their products.

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