Two people have been fired from Dairy Queen after a manager hurled hot oil at a young employee over a dispute about a teen employee’s break.
The shocking incident occurred in the fast food restaurant in Homestead, Florida and resulted in the arrest of everyone involved.
Speaking to WSVN-TV, the unnamed teenager explained how she got into an argument with 52-year-old manager Belinda Ahwach on Tuesday (May 24) about whether her break should be 45 minutes, or shorter.
The employee said she had already taken her break, explaining:
I told her that I’m not going back on break because I did my break already. That’s all I said.
In response, the 52-year-old ordered the teen to go home. The employee was on the phone to her mother, Alicia Hodge, at the time, who said she was going to come to the restaurant.
The young worker continued:
She came around and she was like, ‘Oh, you gotta go home.’ So I’m thinking I’m just going home cause she probably got mad or something. I’m on the phone with my mom at the time. My mom said she was coming.
Footage showed the angry mother confronting Ahwach about the dispute.
Hodge recalled the moment to WSVN-TV, explaining:
When I came, I approached Mrs. B and asked her, ‘What’s the problem? What did my daughter do to you to have a problem?’
Hodge reached over the counter to where the manager was standing and knocked her glasses from her face, causing the 52-year-old to react angrily and knock a display case over in the direction of the mother.
The teen and her mum reportedly called the police, and were joined by another, male relative as they waited for the authorities to arrive. However, as they stood outside the restaurant, Ahwach was caught on camera retrieving a container of hot oil from the deep fryer in the kitchen, carrying it outside and flinging it in the direction of the mother and two teens.
According to police, the young employee suffered minor burns from the oil.
The two teens quickly retaliated and started to hit the manager, while Hodge attempted to hold them back. Footage shows them kicking the 52-year-old as she attempted to escape back inside the Dairy Queen.
When police arrived at the scene, they arrested all four people involved in the altercation.
In a statement to WSVN, Dairy Queen explained both the employee and manager had been fired as a result of the situation.
The safety and well-being of all DQ employees and customers is our top priority. We do not tolerate or condone any behavior that endangers employees or our valued fans.
The manager was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault, while the mother was charged with simple battery.
Both of the teens were charged as juveniles with simple battery.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.