McDonald's Employees Hide in Fridge as Customer Picks Fight Over Missing Coffee

McDonald's employees in Henry County, Georgia, say they hid in a refrigerator fearing for their lives after they were attacked by a customer who became upset after an item on the menu ran out.

The fast food outlet in Locust Grove, Bill Gardner Parkway, became the scene of a heated dispute after a couple placed a coffee order at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, only to be told that an item was no longer available, WSB-TV 2 Atlanta reported.

The news outlet spoke with a 16-year-old employee, who said they and others were forced to hide as they feared the situation would turn violent.

Cell phone footage of the incident obtained by WSB-TV 2 Atlanta showed one customer hurling coffee at McDonald's employees. It also showed the couple banging on the restaurant's drive-thru window, before they reached inside and picked up chairs. Newsweek was unable to view the footage.

"I was scared, because like, you never know how crazy people are like," one employee said, explaining why they hid in the refrigerator. "He could have had a gun and shoot us all."

Another employee said one worker threw a drink in response onto the couple's car "for self-defense," but that only escalated the situation.

"We did it for self-defense, because we didn't know what to do," the employee said.

When one of the customers eventually went inside the building, one employee followed with a crowbar, reportedly to prevent further violence, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta.

An employee told the news outlet that they contacted local police four times, but by the time law enforcement officers arrived, the couple had left.

The Locust Grove Police Chief said the department is waiting to analyze surveillance footage from the restaurant before determining whether to issue arrest warrants.

The sister of an employee interviewed by WSB-TV 2 Atlanta said the family intends to push for criminal charges over the incident.

"Why I feel like they should be arrested is because these are minors, we think of them as our kids," she said. "It's horrible that you can treat a teenager and their peers like that."

Newsweek has contacted the Locust Grove Police Department for comment.

In a separate incident last month in Nashville, Tennessee, a woman attacked McDonald's workers with a French fry scooper while waiting for her order to be prepared, the Charlotte Observer reported.

"When the food took longer than she expected, she went behind the counter and punched an employee with the metal fry scooper," police wrote in a news release. "The assault left a gash on the victim's forehead.

McDonalds drive-thru sign in Los Angeles
The sign for McDonald's drive in take-away restaurant and an American flag in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. A McDonald's customer reportedly attacked workers after he became upset over his coffee order. Getty Images/Epics