Monday, November 23, 2015

Hate Crime? ~ Video Footage Captures Detroit McDonald's Employee Offering a Homeless Person Food and then Throwing a Drink in his Face ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

A douche baggerous McDonald's worker (pictured below) was caught on camera teasing a homeless man with a hamburger before throwing a cup of cold water over him.   This cruel prank happened at a franchise in Detroit, Michigan and happened to have been filmed by a fellow customer (and you can see the video by clicking here). 

At the start of the 50-second film, the staff member is seen baiting a down-and-out seemingly homeless man from the drive-thru counter window.   The man is heard shouting: "Hey Willy, come here, do you want a sandwich. Come on man, I'm going to give you a sandwich man, come on man."

The McDonald's server holds out a burger box to tempt "Willie the vagrant" to walk nearer but then hurls a cup of water at him instead. 

The shock on Willy's face is evident. 

After the clip went viral, online users have called for the worker to be fired.  A man named Christoper Charlton took to Twitter and wrote: "Hey @mcdonalds please find this employee and fire him Foul: McDonald's Worker Throw Drink In Homeless Man's Face!"

And Daniel Mooney added: "@McDonalds This employee must be repremanded for their actions he's discussing human and your company is accountable [sic]".

The disturbing clip has also attracted (as of today) over 1,100 comments on LiveLeak, including a user called "EvilAsh" who wrote: "Baits him over with food only to humiliate a man who already has nothing. If they don't fire this morally bankrupt punk there's something wrong.: and "Minxypoo" who said: "How much of an a******* must you be to throw water in the face of someone who is old, hungry, cold and homeless."  Memo to the Folks:  I would add that, in Florida anyhow, this goes a step father than simply being the morally bankrupt act of an assh*le and in fact constitutes a "hate crime".

Memo to the Folks:   Although the definition varies from State to State, generally a "hate crime" is a crime committed against an individual because of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Some statutes take it further to include crimes based upon homelessness, gender identification, gender expression and political affiliation.  Regardless of the specifics, the idea behind "hate crime" legislation is that crimes which are motivated by bigotry or bias are not only crimes against an individual victim but also pose a significant threat to society.  Florida Statute 775.085 (which is re-produced below and available by clicking here) delineates Florida's take on hate crimes.  Essentially, if proven then the underlying offense is reclassified for punishment purposes by "bumping" it up a level (i.e. a 3rd degree felony is normally punishable by a statutory maximum of five (5) years but if it is proven to have been committed while evidencing prejudice to "race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability or advanced age of the victim" then for sentencing purposes the offense will be treated as a 2nd degree felony and will instead be punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in state prison).  

775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense; reclassification.

(1)(a) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be reclassified as provided in this subsection if the commission of such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability, or advanced age of the victim:
1. A misdemeanor of the second degree is reclassified to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
2. A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified to a felony of the third degree.
3. A felony of the third degree is reclassified to a felony of the second degree.
4. A felony of the second degree is reclassified to a felony of the first degree.
5. A felony of the first degree is reclassified to a life felony.
(b) As used in paragraph (a), the term:
1. “Mental or physical disability” means that the victim suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation due to a developmental disability, organic brain damage, or mental illness, and has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the victim’s ability to perform the normal activities of daily living.
2. “Advanced age” means that the victim is older than 65 years of age.
3. “Homeless status” means that the victim:
a. Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or
b. Has a primary nighttime residence that is:
(I) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or
(II) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(2) A person or organization that establishes by clear and convincing evidence that it has been coerced, intimidated, or threatened in violation of this section has a civil cause of action for treble damages, an injunction, or any other appropriate relief in law or in equity. Upon prevailing in such civil action, the plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

(3) It is an essential element of this section that the record reflect that the defendant perceived, knew, or had reasonable grounds to know or perceive that the victim was within the class delineated in this section.

The video of this incident was recorded (and subsequently uploaded to the internet) by a person who was in the drive-thru line and witnessed the same.  When s/he posted the video it was accompanied by the caption: "Videographer states that he (the McDonald's employee) did this as payback because the panhandler had earlier argued with a McDonald's customer."

Memo to the unnamed McDonald's employee who baited a hungry homeless man with food and then heartlessly threw water in his face:  Congratulations on solving the the age old question of....

When it comes to the subject of "Cops, Courts and Constitutions" you should always have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is focused on serving your interests.  While we can't stop the cops from arresting you, as your legal counsel Michael A. Haber, PA will ensure that your rights are respected from the moment that representation begins and that any abuses which may have occurred beforehand are remedied.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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