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Police search for man who pulled gun on Burger King worker over bill

The employee said a drive-thru customer threatened to kill him because his bill was lower than he expected.
Police search for man who pulled gun on Burger King worker over bill
Posted at 9:42 AM, Apr 04, 2024

Police are searching for a man who pulled a gun on a fast-food restaurant employee from the drive-thru of a Burger King outside Cleveland, Ohio. The incident happened the morning of Easter Sunday and was caught on surveillance cameras.

Tim Vernon was working the drive-thru that morning. It was a second job he had only been working for a few months.

He said the incident stemmed from the customer ordering two sausage, egg and cheese croissants, a sausage biscuit, and hash browns.

"He thought that he should have been paying more money … his order came up to like $8,” Vernon said.

The next thing Vernon saw was the man pulling next to another customer in the drive-thru and getting out of his gray Honda Accord.

“That’s when he jumped out the car, cocked the gun (and) pointed it at me,” Vernon said. “He’s just saying, ‘I should kill you n*****’. He just kept saying that. As he was pulling off he was saying, ‘This place was ran so much better when it was ran by White people.’”

Vernon told Scripps News Cleveland he had never seen the man before but the whole incident left him in shock.

“It’s just really crazy that somebody could do that," he added. "I’m thankful he didn’t pull the trigger.”

Another Burger King employee called 911 and gave the dispatcher a description of the man’s vehicle.

Willowick Police told Scripps News Cleveland that investigators have been searching for the gray Honda Accord using their street cameras and cameras from neighboring cities.

“Unfortunately, the cameras only appear to catch the front of the vehicle at the Burger King drive-thru,” said Lt. Keith Lawrence with the Willowick Police Department. “And the state got rid of the front plate law a couple years ago, so no front plate and we don't have an identity."

Lawrence said the man faces a possible charge of aggravated menacing with a firearm, which could bring time in prison. But he added that investigators are also looking into claims that the man used a racial slur, which could escalate charges.

“If you're pulling a firearm and pointing it at an employee over argument over a fast food order, I would say that person's not using good firearm safety or common sense,” Lawrence said. 

Vernon wants anyone with information to call the police to prove a lesson that the customer isn’t always right. 

“He's a thug. He needs to get caught. He needs to be in jail,” Vernon said. “To get that mad over some food, some fast food, something has to be wrong with you.”

Vernon said he no longer works at Burger King. The company released the following statement to Scripps News Cleveland:

"We were horrified to hear of this Guest’s actions. The safety of Burger King Team Members is our top priority, and the Franchisee of this location is offering the necessary support to the impacted Team Members."

This story was originally published by Damon Maloney at Scripps News Cleveland.

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