An Atlanta woman is suing a popular fast-food restaurant, accusing employees of violently attacking her when she attempted to have her order corrected while at the drive-thru window at a local Popeyes location.
The alleged incident went down last September at the Popeyes fried chicken store located on Cleveland Avenue in Atlanta when Denetra Dawson stopped to pick up dinner for her kids. After noticing that her order was wrong, she went to the drive-thru to have it fixed when things took a turn for the worse and the situation dramatically escalated, leaving her with a large portion of her hair torn out.
“I simply went to get food for my kids,” Dawson said of the incident that left her bruised and battered after she was allegedly attacked by three workers. “Why me? I didn’t even think I was going to make it back to my kids.”
(Video: YouTube/11 Alive)
“She was attacked, she was traumatized,” attorney Mawuli Davis, who is representing Dawson said, according to 11 Alive. “And there are a lot of people that are going to need to be held responsible for this…. Ms. Dawson went out to simply get this 12 piece box of chicken. And what ends up happening is that they get the order wrong. She tries to correct them over the speaker. They’re not paying any attention. She pulls up to the window. At the window, she’s trying to communicate. ‘Hey, you got this wrong.’ They get upset. They call her the B-word. They start raising their voice.”
The altercation was reportedly the result of Dawson’s slowing down the drive-thru line with employees being penalized for not keeping the line moving when tempers boiled over and the workers allegedly attacked her in her vehicle, only stopping when she was able to pull her licensed gun on them.
“They decided they were going to fix that problem by attacking Miss Dawson and getting her to move her.. forcing her to move her car,” he said.
Dawson’s attorneys are claiming that because the Popeyes manager had a history of violent crime on her record, the chain should have known before they hired her that she could be a potential threat to customers. She is suing the three employees who were allegedly involved as well as the corporation that owns the restaurant where the incident took place.
(Video: YouTube/Atlanta News First)
“They come out, they come out of the restaurant, she remains in her car and their objective in the furtherence of Popeyes business, their objective is to get her to move her car so that they can keep the line moving so that they don’t get in trouble with Popeyes, their employer,” Davis said.
“One of the employees physically opens up her passenger side car door, enters her vehicle, jumps into her car and begins to attack her,” the attorney explained. “Two other employees, including the manager then open up her car door and they’re all converging on her, beating her, punching her, scratching her.”
The Popeyes employees, a mother who was the manager along with her daughter and niece,were arrested by police after they arrived at the scene, The manager, Tenister Evans, daughter, Zariah Evans, and niece Tenice Taylor were charged with battery and obstruction of an officer, according to local news reports.
“This incident is an outrageous example of Popeyes’ failure to prioritize customer safety and well-being,” the attorney said in a statement. “By hiring a manager with a history of violence, Popeyes exhibited a reckless disregard for the safety of their patrons. The manager and two employees exited Popeyes and violently attacked her inside of her car. We are resolute in our commitment to holding the restaurant accountable for their actions and seeking justice for our client.”
In a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta, Popeyes said that it has “absolutely no tolerance for violence of any kind” in its restaurants.
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