McDonald's Worker Attacked With Tampon
Most people who pass through a McDonald's drive-through are content to get their Happy Meal and get back on the road.
But then there's Rebecca Leigh Crimmins. The 27-year-old aspiring Australian model showed up at the Golden Arches in the suburb of Noosaville, located in the Australian province of Queensland, at 3 a.m. on Sept. 25. Intoxicated, she thought it might be fun to toy with the McDonald's attendant serving her.
"The passenger removed a large fries and yelled 'Oi, what's this in my fries?' " Sgt. Leanne Chawner said in rehashing the incident to The Australian. Crimmins then proceeded to get out of the car to accost the 19-year-old McDonald's worker at the drive-through window, said Chawner, and "the pair was involved in a discussion when the teenage victim felt something wet on his hand."
It turned out to be a tampon. Claiming to have never touched the worker's hand, Crimmins initially refused to be interviewed by police after being charged with common assault. (She also said the tampon was moist after a lime cordial was applied to it.) Regardless, Crimmins appeared in court on Tuesday to plead guilty.
"I accept this was a tampon filled with cordial," Court Magistrate John Parker told Crimmins, "but even on that basis ... it is still, nevertheless, a disgusting and abhorrent result and I hope you're thoroughly ashamed of yourself." Crimmins was fired from her waitressing job, and was ordered to fulfill 60 days of community service.
Crimmins' attack comes almost two years after another notable incident at a McDonald's drive-through. According to a report by the Chicago Sun Times, Sarah Thienes showed up at a West Side Chicago McDonald's drive-through on a December evening in 2009, in search of a cheeseburger. When allegedly told by a McDonald's employee that only breakfast sandwiches were available, she reportedly asked for a ham, cheese and egg on a bagel. When that item was also said to be unavailable, an altercation ensued between Thienes and the restaurant worker during which the worker reportedly spat at Thienes. Thienes filed suit, seeking more than $300,000 in damages for emotional distress and battery.
The matter has yet to be settled. But whatever its resolution, it would have a tough time gaining greater attention than the 1994 case, Liebeck vs. McDonald's Restaurants. When 79-year-old Stella Liebeck sued the fast food chain, she claimed an overly hot cup of coffee contributed to her burns after she dropped the brew on herself in her car, also at a drive-through. She was initially awarded some $3 million in damages, but the number was reduced after an appeals process and confidential out-of-court settlements. Nevertheless, ABC News called the incident the "poster child of excessive lawsuits."
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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