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Published: Saturday, 12/22/2001

Burger flies in fast-food tiff

BY JASON WILLIAMS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

For the second time in about a month, words between a customer and a worker at a drive-through window in the Toledo area have led to a fast-food fight.

The first time, an argument with a customer led a McDonald's employee to toss hot coffee at a customer, striking a Toledo man and his toddler son, police said.

On Thursday, a disagreement apparently sent a Rally's hamburger airborne in Springfield Township, according to the Lucas County sheriff's office.

Lori Allen, 39, her husband, and family were in the Rally's drive-through, 6635 Airport Hwy., about 9 p.m. Thursday ordering food, according to a sheriff's report.

At the pay window, Mrs. Allen noticed that a sandwich and shake were missing from the order, which her children had begun eating. She told the cashier about the missing items. The cashier asked for the food back, apparently to try to reconcile the problem, and an argument ensued.

Mrs. Allen started putting the food back on the window, and her husband wanted their money back, and the shouting grew.

At some point during the disagreement, the 19-year-old manager told Mrs. Allen “not to yell at her” and threw a hamburger at the woman, hitting her in the left side of the face. The burger broke apart, the sheriff's report states. The woman told police the burger struck her leather coat and landed on the van's floor.

Sheriff's deputies indicated that Mrs. Allen had a “redness” on her face. Mrs. Allen could not be reached for comment; the manager declined comment when contacted last night.

Mrs. Allen was advised by sheriff deputies to pursue charges through Sylvania Municipal Court. As of 3 p.m. yesterday, no charges had been filed, a court spokeswoman reported.

A witness, Donal Lambdin, 34, of Sylvania, told The Blade he was at the walk-up window during the dispute and could hear the manager yelling. But he said he couldn't make out what was being said.

“I saw [the manager] throw the hamburger in the face of the lady,” Mr. Lambdin said. “I had no idea what was going on. ... I saw it smack her in the face and fall.” He later saw mayonnaise on the woman's face and lettuce between the two front seats.

The woman's husband got out of the van, he said, but Mr. Lambdin said he and another man calmed him. Mr. Lambdin said he left without placing his order because of the ordeal.

The manager, who is not being identified because she had not been charged as of last night, is scheduled to report for work Wednesday.

Last month, an employee of the McDonald's restaurant at 3008 Monroe St., near Detroit Avenue, was charged with felonious assault after she allegedly tossed coffee into a vehicle, burning a man and his 1-year-old son.

Noseche Gaillard, 19, of 1619 Milburn Ave., was arraigned on the charge Nov. 28 and posted bond. Bobby White, 23, and his son, Brycen, were treated at Toledo Hospital. The toddler sustained second-degree burns to his neck and hand.

Ms. Gaillard no longer works for the McDonald's, which is operated by Cobham Family, Inc.



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