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McDonald's customer arrested after shocking video shows them throwing hot coffee at restaurant staff

McDonald's customer arrested after shocking video shows them throwing hot coffee at restaurant staff

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Working at a drive-thru can be an interesting gig. Unlike in the restaurant-proper, manning a drive-thru window puts you in a strange no-man's land between the business and the outside world. Normal rules don’t seem to apply in the nether zone. Weird things happen. People can behave very strangely.

Nothing proves this more definitively than a recent horror story from an Ohio McDonald’s. Earlier this year, employees at a Cleveland branch of the famous fast food franchise were left both traumatised and physically injured after an encounter with an aggressive customer and their coffee. During the attack, a man, now identified as local resident Joseph Deluca, hurled several hot cups through the open drive thru window, leaving an unnamed female staffer with first-degree burns on her neck and shoulder.

As soon as police arrived on the scene, employees at the outlet revealed that the altercation occurred after the server handed over two cups to Deluca, before noticing that he had actually only ordered one. She then politely asked to check his receipt to confirm the details of his order. After initially laughing off the request and insisting that he had ordered two cups, Deluca became irate when the woman kept repeating that she still needed to see the cheque.

At this point, Deluca completely lost his cool. Angrily exiting his vehicle, he proceeded to seize both cups and hurl them straight through the Drive thru window, severely scalding the employee, before getting back in his vehicle and driving away. According to a report from Fox 8, she was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital to get treatment for the first-degree burns she sustained on her neck and shoulder.

Even though Deluca had attempted to drive away in the immediate aftermath of the incident, a shocking videotape of the attack helped police to both identify and track him down with relative ease. When he was arrested, however, he gave a different reason for his interaction with police, citing another assault on a man who had “put his hands on [Deluca’s] girlfriend”. According to police body cam footage, he didn’t even mention the McDonald’s incident.

coffee cup Credit: Pixabay/Free-Photos

Speaking to Fox News after Deluca’s arrest, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Erin Stone was definitive in her assessment of the situation. "What is troubling with a case like this is you have someone who is going to work just to do her job, to pay her bills, to make ends meet,” she said, adding, “She asks to see his receipt and this angers him immensely and he throws two cups of hot coffee in her face.” Deluca is due in court this month to face two charges of felonious assault after his confession on the bodycam footage. If convicted, he could be sentenced to eight years in prison for each charge, or be punished with probation.