Following the release of a video showing a fight between a customer and an employee at a Flushing McDonald’s, Korean-American groups are calling for a boycott of the restaurant, and the customer — who says he was physically attacked by an employee — is planning on suing for millions, according to published reports.
The video footage of the February incident, first broadcast by CBS New York, shows the customer, James Jin Kim, recording video with his cell phone after he said an employee at the Main Street McDonald’s, Rooshi Sajjad, wasn’t serving him, reports said. Sajjad then appears to strike Kim with a broom handle.
In court filings, Kim claims after waiting 10 minutes to order coffee, he complained, and Sajjad started shouting at him, “We don’t serve coffee to people like you” and “Get out of my restaurant,” according to published reports.
On Tuesday, a protest, held by several Korean-American groups, took place outside the McDonald’s, the Daily News reported. The groups are also threatening to boycott the eatery until it trains its employees to be more sensitive toward Asian customers, the paper also said.
Kim, meanwhile, is planning on suing McDonald’s for $10 million, arguing he suffered injuries to his hand and unlawful discrimination, according to published reports.
Sajjad was charged with attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors, and one violation, harassment, but her record will be cleared if she stays out of trouble for another month, reports said. According to CBS New York, Sajjad still works at the McDonald’s.
In a statement to CBS New York, the franchise owner of the McDonald’s, Luigi Solimeo, said: “Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of my customers and employees,” adding that “the video does not capture all of the details surrounding that event.”
This incident at the Main Street fast food restaurant is not the first time that Korean groups have threatened to boycott McDonald’s.
Last January, Korean activists called for a worldwide boycott of McDonald’s following a feud between a group of Korean seniors and the owner of one of its eateries on on Parsons and Northern boulevards.
The dispute began when around 20 seniors would use the restaurant as their personal hang out space, spending about eight hours a day there. The owner, wanting the seats for other customers, called police several times.
A compromise was reached, with the owner agreeing to hire Korean-speaking staff members and extending the 20-minute sitting limit to one hour, except from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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