Junction City, KS – A McDonald’s franchisee has denied allegations that one of her employees scrawled an expletive on a Herington police officer’s coffee order on Saturday morning.
Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday expressed outrage about the incident in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Chief Hornaday said that one of his officers stopped by the McDonald’s restaurant on South Washington just after 6 a.m. to pick up a cup of coffee, WIBW reported.
When he returned to the station, he realized that someone had scribbled the words “f--king pig” on the side of his cup.
“Although I understand this is likely the act of one person and not a representation of the company, when it was brought to their attention the company offered him a ‘free lunch,’” Chief Hornaday’s post read. “No thank you. A Big Mac and fries don’t make up for it.”
The chief noted that the officer involved in the incident is a U.S. military veteran who deserves to be treated far better.
"This police officer has never met the McDonald’s employee," he told WIBW. "He has spent the last two months serving the citizens of Herington, visiting patients at Herington Municipal Hospital during Christmas who couldn’t be home for the holidays, participating in a Christmas give away at Herington Elementary School and many other positive things geared towards providing a positive future for the City of Herington."
Chief Hornady said he spent time reviewing security footage at the restaurant on Saturday, but that it didn’t show anything conclusive.
“The video evidence did not show...whether or not an employee of McDonald’s had written that on the receipt,” he said, according to NBC News.
On Sunday, franchisee Dana Cook announced that she found more video footage, and that she was confident that none of her employees were responsible for writing the vulgar message, KSNT reported.
“My McDonald’s have the utmost respect for all members of law enforcement and the military and were troubled by the accusation made,” Cook told the news outlet. “We thoroughly reviewed our security video from every angle, which clearly shows the words were not written by one of our employees. We look forward to working with Chief Hornaday as he continues his investigation.”
The restaurant told the chief that they would bring him the video on Sunday, but ultimately canceled due to poor roads.
They said they will show him the footage on Monday, KSNT reported.
“There is a whole lot more to the story than what is being portrayed online,” Chief Hornady told KIBW. “Hopefully, McDonald's will follow through with showing me the video that didn’t exist when I met with them Saturday night.”
“It doesn’t appear this matter is going to be resolved anytime soon,” the chief noted.
The Geary County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) first weighed in on the situation in a Facebook post on Saturday, urging citizens not to judge the situation too quickly.
“We don’t know the whole story and are saddened by seeing this incident in our community,” the post read. “However, we at the Geary County Sheriff's Office, believe this was an isolated incident and have faith in management at McDonald's to get to the bottom of the situation.”
“As a show of faith in our community the Sheriff and some of his command staff will be visiting [McDonald’s] to have a cup of Coffee Monday morning,” the GCSO added.
The department doubled-down on its stance in a second post on Monday.
“The Geary County Sheriff’s Office is standing by its original statement in reference to the incident at McDonald’s,” the GCSO said. “It is saddening to see this incident in our community no matter who wrote on the officer’s cup.”