Every professional kitchen is full of potentially lethal offensive objects. Aside from the obvious, like knives, cleavers and scissors, experienced chefs will tell you that serious damage can be done with a well-aimed copper-bottomed pan, or expertly wielded colander. Even ingredients like hot oil and vinegar can prove to be a handful if an adversary decides to think outside the box. What doesn’t tend to be seen as suitable weaponry, on the other hand, is the cooked food itself. Usually, it’s too soft and squishy to be anything other than a mild, messy inconvenience. However, as with anything, there are exceptions.
This universal law was reinforced this week after a shocking story emerged from a McDonald’s kitchen in Bloomington, Indiana. In a remarkable and almost unprecedented turn of events, a McDonald’s employee was charged with battery after evidence showed them throwing a cheeseburger at a fellow staffer for working too slowly.
According to reports, a 21-year-old male restaurant worker was on-shift when he became increasingly irritated with his 18-year-old female colleague’s inability to keep pace. Instead of electing to have a word or encourage her to work faster, the unnamed employee decided to opt for the nuclear option, throwing a cheeseburger straight into her face. After the unusual fracas subsided, police were called to the scene to establish exactly what had gone on.
When officers began interviewing witnesses after the event took place, it became clear that the offending party wasn’t the only employee frustrated by the lethargy of their fellow worker. Others in the kitchen were similarly annoyed by the hold up to production. However, according to a report on WTVR-TV, the aggressor, soon after having left the restaurant for the evening, reached the conclusion that he probably “should not have lost his temper,” indicating that his response may not have been the most appropriate, despite mitigating circumstances.
Though the victim has herself acknowledged that she was not hurt by the patty projectile, it’s clear that the unusual case still warrants action. Bloomington Police Department Lt. John Kovach told reporters that the man was handed a misdemeanor battery charge and will also be issued with a court summons, although he also admitted that the offence is “...not something we would put anyone in jail for.”
Shockingly, despite the unusual details of this particular case, this isn’t the first time that McDonald’s has been involved in burger-based assault charges. In March 2017, a 39-year-old woman was accused of assaulting her 60-year-old mother with a cheeseburger at a store in Indianapolis. According to contemporary police reports, the mother in question “was found by police covered in ketchup, mustard and pickles.” As odd as it might seem to regard hamburgers as a potentially dangerous weapon, these two stories both prove that, when tempers are frayed, nothing is too far-fetched.