Two employees working with Dunkin’ Donuts poured water on a man sitting in their Syracuse, New York, franchise.
A viral video showed a man, identified as Jeremy Dufresne, sitting on a chair with his head down on the table. That’s when an unidentified employee poured water on him from the back. Both of the employees can then be heard laughing hysterically as if they thought what they did was funny.
“How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here?” said the employee after dumping water on Dufresne. “You’re here all day.”
Naturally, Dufresne got panicked and got up his chair. He then walked a little further and picked up his phone and charger that were plugged in at the side. Dufresne told the employees he was there to charge his phone. But the rude employee didn’t listen to him, saying he should get out before he calls the cops on him.
Dufresne was left with no option but to leave the restaurant.
Later, it was discovered that the man was homeless. He had schizophrenia and used to sleep outside most nights. Dufresne explained he was there to charge his phone in order to call his mother and wish her goodnight. He did this every night.
But while the phone was charging, he put his head down at some time and that’s when the Dunkin Donuts employee threw water on him. “He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said about the employee who misbehaved with him. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
The franchisee owner for the restaurant, Kimberly Wolak, issued a statement condemning the act of the employees.
“Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina Street location, 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?which include creating a welcoming and hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect. 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. We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate assistance.”
A GoFundMe campaign created to raise money for the homeless man has collected nearly $15,000.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Michael Brochstein, SOPA Images, LightRocket, Getty Images