Dunkin' Donuts fires workers for dumping water on homeless man
Two employees at a Dunkin' Donuts eatery in Syracuse, New York, have been fired after one dumped water on a homeless man who had nodded off as his cell phone was charging.
The video, which has drawn more than 2 million views since being posted on Facebook Sunday night, showed a young man with his head down on a table in a mostly empty store, when a worker pours a pitcher of water on him.
"How many times I've got to tell you to stop sleeping in here," said the worker, who added a profanity. The employee and another person not in the video can be heard laughing as the man gathered up his wet belongings.
The person shown in the video was identified on GoFundMe as Jeremy (Youngs) Dufresne. By Tuesday morning, a fundraiser set up to help him in the wake of the encounter had raised more than $8,000.
Dufresne suffers from schizophrenia and was in the Dunkin' restaurant to charge his phone so he could call his mother to say goodnight, a local newspaper, the Post-Standard reported.
"He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to," Dufresne told the newspaper of the worker who poured water on him. "And he took it out on someone else, like me."
A homeless advocate stopped by the store to object to the man's treatment and threatened a boycott if management didn't address the issue, according to the newspaper.
The incident prompted a demonstration of roughly 20 people outside the store, with one protester carrying a sign reading "Homeless Lives Matter," according to a local radio radio station.
"The employees involved in the incident have been terminated, and we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience," stated Kimberly Wolak, chief operating officer of Wolak Group, which owns about 85 Dunkin' Donuts stores in New York, New Hampshire and Maine.
"We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video. It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization," Wolak added in a statement supplied by Dunkin' Donuts.
The company recently announced it's rebranding itself and that as of January it will be officially known simply as Dunkin'.
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