Video: Police Kick Hungry Homeless Man Out of McDonald's as He Quietly Eats Meal

McDonald's homeless man video
A screenshot from Yossi Gallo's Facebook video showing a homeless man being removed from McDonald's in Myrtle Beach as he quietly eats a meal paid for by another customer. Yossi Gallo/Facebook

A video posted to Facebook of police kicking a homeless man out of a McDonald's restaurant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while he tries to eat a meal bought for him out of sympathy by another customer has already attracted more than 55 million views.

But the man who shot the footage and argued with the officer in question has since come out to defend her against a torrent of negative and abusive comments about the way she handled the situation.

The video was uploaded to Facebook by Yossi Gallo, who also filmed the February 28 incident and bought the McDonald's meal for the homeless man. And it's sparking anger as it goes viral across the web.

In the video, a Myrtle Beach police officer is telling the homeless man he must leave the McDonald's premises as he tries to eat his meal. Gallo can be heard berating McDonald's staff for calling the police to have the homeless man removed. "You guys suck," Gallo tells staff, repeatedly, and says he'll never eat in the restaurant again.

A McDonald's manager approaches Gallo to ask him to stop shouting. "This is how I talk, I talk loud, if the officer has a problem with that, the officer is going to arrest me," Gallo replies.

"You're being disorderly," the manager tells Gallo.

"I'm not being disorderly," Gallo says. "The guy, he didn't even ask me for food. And I saw him across the street and I bought him over here and gave him food."

The officer responds: "We're here because apparently he asked multiple people, OK? Multiple people have complained, so it's not just you, OK? If management is asking you to quiet down, quiet down."

Eventually, after remonstrating with the manager and the officer about receiving a receipt and a refund, Gallo and the homeless man are forced to leave the restaurant. Gallo invites the homeless man to jump in his car so they can get food somewhere else.

"You know what you're doing is wrong," Gallo tells the officer in the McDonald's parking lot. "You know that already. Deep inside you, you know that."

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Speaking to Myrtle Beach Online, Gallo said he is overwhelmed by the response to the video as comments pour in to praise his actions. "But also I want to say a lot of those comments...are bashing the police officer," he said.

"A lot of them were saying very mean and cruel things to that police officer, and by all means if I ever got in trouble and I would want to be confronted by a police officer, that's the police officer I would want to be confronted by. She was very nice, she was very polite."

He added: "I was very upset. I was acting out of anger. Obviously, I don't just walk into restaurants and yell."

When asked why he helped the homeless man, Gallo said he has "a place in my heart for homeless people and people in need".

"I think that a lot of my blessings in life, with things that I was successful in, I think that comes from helping people because I love to give, I love to help others," he said. "If someone feels that I'm doing this to show off, then by all means please show off...why don't you do that as well, and if everyone does that, we'll have a beautiful world, wouldn't we?"

Myrtle Beach Police Department put out a statement as the video went viral on Facebook.

"Officers were dispatched to the location after receiving a call, from an employee of the business, that a male was in the parking lot asking people for money," the statement said.

"Upon arriving at the restaurant, an employee approached the officer and indicated the male was inside the establishment. The employee requested the officer issue a trespassing warning and asked that the person leave the premises.

"The officer advised the male of the request made by the business and issued the warning. A bystander, who was videotaping the incident was also trespassed from the location, at the request of the manager, for what management deemed as disorderly behavior.

"Both individuals complied with the request of the business and left the premises."