Fla. Customer Sues McDonald's After Worker Allegedly Unleashes Anti-Gay Rant And Assault

When Ryan Snyder and his three friends and brother put in their order at a McDonald's drive-thru in Orlando, Fla., they weren't given a receipt or change. So they alerted the attendant, Kristy Perez. They were stunned when she allegedly responded with an anti-gay rant against her co-worker.

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"That stupid faggot doesn't know how to do his job," Perez allegedly said, according to a lawsuit filed by Snyder after the December 2010 incident (via South Florida Gay News). "He just came out of the closet."

After Snyder, who is gay, told her that he found the remark offensive, he claims that Perez became irate, ultimately assaulting him, part of which was caught on video (see below). On June 26, Perez was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three years probation on charges of battery and burglary in connection with the incident.

But Snyder has sued McDonald's, alleging that management was negligent and fails to properly train employees. And, in fact, there have been other recent cases in which McDonald's workers were accused of gay-bashing or otherwise harming customers perceived as gay.

Back in December 2010, when Snyder drove up to the McDonald's window and heard Perez's comments, he says that he was offended. In the car was his boyfriend, a lesbian couple and his brother. "Ma'am I am gay. How can you say stuff like that?" he recalled asking Perez in a YouTube video that he put together after the incident.


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Then, according to Snyder, Perez became livid and lunged through the drive-thru's window and tried to grab their food. As Snyder drove their car through the lot, Perez followed them and began kicking the vehicle, according to the lawsuit. When Snyder and his passengers got out of the car, she followed, shoving and punching Snyder (who got a black eye). The assault -- part of which is captured on security video that can be seen in the YouTube video -- only came to an end when two co-workers forced Snyder to the ground, according to the suit.

Snyder called 911, but a McDonald's manager reportedly urged Perez to go "home before police get here" and she left, according to the lawsuit. Perez allegedly failed to show up for work ever again; a year later, she was allegedly caught speeding in a car and was charged in the Snyder case. She pled no contest in the Snyder case, but was not charged with a hate crime, according to the South Florida Gay News. She's no longer employed by McDonald's, according to company spokeswoman Julie Pottebaum.

That, however, isn't the end of the matter for Snyder. His lawsuit against McDonald's alleges that the chain and the individual franchise is guilty of "negligent hiring" for bringing on employees who "were, and are, incompetent, unfit for employment in the food service or any industry, and dangerous." The suit also accuses McDonald's of negligent supervision as well as the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Snyder is seeking at least $15,000 in damages.



"They [the managers] treated him like he was the instigator, kicking him out," says Robert Strick, Snyder's attorney. He added that Snyder did receive a letter of apology from McDonald's but said it was "vague," and only apologized for "how Snyder might not have enjoyed his McDonald's experience," according to Strick. Instead, the chain wanted to sweep the issue under the rug, according to Strick, and urged Perez to leave the premises before the police could arrive on the scene.

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For its part, McDonald's denies that there's any systemic mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender customers. "We believe this incident does not reflect the overall experiences of the 28 million customers we serve every day," Pottebaum said in an e-mail to AOL Jobs.

Regardless, other McDonald's workers have been accused of physically and verbally abusing LGBT Americans. Ryan Marlatt, Teddy Eggers and three other friends were waiting for their food to be prepared at a McDonald's in Louisville, Ky., in 2008, when one of the branch's workers allegedly began to heckle the men, calling them "faggots." The four claimed that they were rebuffed by management, and their request for a refund received no response. Phone calls placed to McDonald's corporate offices in the following weeks also reportedly went nowhere until the American Civil Liberties Union took up the case. McDonald's agreed the following year to a cash settlement and sensitivity training for the workers at the branch, according to the ACLU.

And just last year, workers at a Baltimore McDonald's allegedly just stood by and watched as customers beat up a transgender woman, Chrissy Polis, to the point at which she reportedly was having seizures. Instead of intervening, a McDonald's employee taped the incident on a cell phone. The video then proceeded to go viral on the Internet. While Polis never filed a lawsuit, she did receive a settlement of undisclosed terms from McDonald's, according to the Baltimore Sun. And she says that she's living off a loan from a non-bank lender.



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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

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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14 Comments

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lmc1987

Oh yes one other thing. This being called a Mcdonalds gay attack is ridiculous. I wish they had the stones to publicly denounce this perverted life style but in fact an employee of that company did this.

April 15 2013 at 6:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lmc1987

I actually have no use for them and I am very tired of hearing about them. You want to support that deviant disgusting lifestyle Go ahead. Just remember not to turn your back on them.
That being said the employee had no right to vent to customers. This is not the companies fault. But then those of you who support perversion delight in attacking anyone you can. There are just as many Mcdonalds supporters out there. I notice also there is never a shortage of you cowardly name callers online. I am very certain that you also cuss people out while you drive away safely , and stand 100 yards away and yell and scream your obcenities but run away when the person you are attacking starts to come to you so they can hear you better. Damn cowards.

April 15 2013 at 6:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Stephen Burke

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. POOR AFFLICTED GLBITG DEVIATES.

April 12 2013 at 6:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
LadyandEliseo Acosta

Jajaja i know her lol

March 21 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Steven W Parker

McDonalds will hire anyone with a pulse. They do not screen their employees, they do not do a background check. Often they hire people as soon as they fill out their 4 line application. The turnover rate is constant. They just want chimps to assemble their garbage, so the baboons will come in and eat there.

July 15 2012 at 2:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
chuck drexciya

Stupid bigots who can't keep their opinions to themselves are gonna be really happy when their actions lead companies to include a section on applications requiring candidates to affirm the validity of LGBT orientations as a prereq to employment.

July 13 2012 at 7:17 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
milles

stick it to mickey ds!!!! all these folks going around saying they dont hate they love all ,but then bring gay into the equation and walla! their back being haters again,all that time with no stress and all of the sudden they are stressed out and hating again.

July 13 2012 at 5:06 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Chris Marshall

not a hate crime! WTF

July 13 2012 at 4:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pedluvnky

The crappy food McDs serves is assault enough upon the taste buds and digestive systems of their customers without adding these egregious attacks!

July 13 2012 at 3:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pedluvnky's comment
lmc1987

Don't like the FOOD, don' eat there. I don't remember asking for your opinion

April 15 2013 at 6:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sarrellec

where are the arrests????
This is assault and usually caught on tape---what's the deal here?
Suing is required, of course,but why not arrests????

July 13 2012 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sarrellec's comment
Steven W Parker

The attacker quit her job and did not return and was arrested a year later when she was caught speeding, so there was a warrant for her arrest all that time. Slow down when reading, you are skipping entire sentences.

July 15 2012 at 2:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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