Normal, IL – A McDonald’s employee who vulgarly berated an on-duty Illinois State Police (ISP) trooper in the restaurant’s drive-thru was fired within hours of the verbal attack, the franchise owner said on Tuesday.
“We support men and women in blue, first responders, and our troops,” Mikel Petro told Blue Lives Matter. “As soon as we found out about it, we reacted.”
According to a Facebook post made by the unnamed ISP trooper’s sister, the incident occurred at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, when the trooper ordered her lunch at the McDonald’s drive-thru.
When the uniformed trooper pulled up in her marked patrol car to pay for her meal, she received an unexpected greeting from the female employee at the window.
“The girl said to her, ‘I just have to say this to [you]. F**k the police!’” the trooper’s sister wrote.
Instead of responding, the trooper pulled forward to the next window. But when that window opened, a male employee was laughing at her.
“Wow, that’s a female trooper she said that to,” the employee said, while other workers laughed, according to the post.
Given the situation, the trooper opted to throw her meal away, and later contacted the business’s corporate office, the post said.
Petro told Blue Lives Matter that he was notified of the incident through a representative of the trooper, and that he immediately “took her statement” and began investigating what had occurred.
“I have no reason to distrust an officer,” he said. “We have friends and family who are first responders, and I would hope any of our customers would feel comfortable enough to bring something like this to our attention.”
Petro said that he relied on the trooper’s statement and security camera footage from inside the restaurant to identify the employee, and that the trooper confirmed that they had located the correct individual.
“She was terminated within hours,” Petro said of the employee. “[She] not only violated our own personal beliefs and code of conduct, but also violated the stores harassment code.”
Co-owner Jack Millan agreed with Petro’s decision to terminate the woman.
“We were absolutely appalled,” Millan told the Herald & Review. “Our discussion wasn’t about what to do, but rather about verifying who, and terminating that person immediately.”
Petro told Blue Lives Matter that the restaurant has apologized to the trooper and the ISP through the trooper’s representatives, and that he provided them with his personal contact information in case the trooper wanted to speak with him directly.
“We take pride in our business and our community,” he said. “And we appreciate our customers.”
Blue Lives Matter reached out to the ISP trooper, but had not received a response at publication time.