Two Dunkin’ Donuts workers in New York were fired after a viral video appeared to show them dumping water on a homeless man who was sleeping in the restaurant.
The Post-Standard reported that Jeremy Dufresne was charging his phone at a Syracuse Dunkin’ Donuts on Sunday so he could call his mother to tell her good night. He reportedly put his head down for a minute—and that’s when someone soaked him with water.
“How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here,” a male employee is heard saying as someone else laughs in the background. “You’re here all day.”
According to the newspaper, the person who recorded the incident immediately posted the video on social media in hopes of further humilating the homeless man. Instead, the workers were met with backlash that likely contributed to their firing.
“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne told the newspaper of the employee that assaulted and berated him on camera. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
Dufresne’s mother said her son has schizophrenia in addition to epilepsy and a learning disability that was caused by being deprived of oxygen at birth. Dufresne said he dropped out in high school and has been on and off the streets ever since.
The company released a statement apologizing for the incident.
“We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video,” Dunkin’ franchisee Kimberly Wolak said in the statement issued to the Democrat & Chronicle. “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.”
That poor guy. You never know what someone is going through in life. 😔 ☹️☹️!!!SYRACUSE, NY Dunkin’ Donuts. This shouldn’t happen to people. No one deserves to go through this in life. Here’s a go fund me of $150 to get him a new set of clothes and a meal and phone charger!!! https://www.gofundme.com/man-sleeping-at-syracuse-dunkin&rcid=r01-153839668215-c35ae183d8e54db1&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m
Posted by Samuel Breazeale on Sunday, September 30, 2018
[Featured image: Facebook video screengrab]