I Don’t Know Who To Hate On This One

An AZ cop went to a KFC to get some chicken. They were out of the chicken he wanted and refused to give him his money back but instead insisted on giving him a voucher and another type of chicken. The cop then decides to start arresting everyone:

A high-ranking Williams police officer has lost his job after a dispute over a meal.

Accounts of what happened vary, with two restaurant employees saying the off-duty officer threatened to arrest them over some chicken, and the officer saying he did not.

The Williams police chief, Herman Nixon, said the officer was fired for using his position and authority for personal gain, by attempting to get a refund on the meal.

“Right after it happened, I stripped him of his police powers,” Nixon said.

Williams Police Lt. Michael Graham, who formerly ranked second-in-command in the department, said he plans to file a wrongful-termination lawsuit over his July 28 firing, and that his restaurant complaint is a real case of fraud that the police ignored.

“He ordered some chicken that we didn’t have available at that moment,” during a July visit, said Tavi Padilla, the restaurant manager on duty at the time at a Williams KFC/Taco Bell.

Another manager offered another type of chicken and a voucher for a free meal later during the July 9 visit. But Graham wanted his money back, which is against store policy, according to Padilla.

“He told me, ‘Look, fat a–, I don’t want to talk. Just give me my money or I’m taking you to jail. Do you know who I am?’” Padilla told other Williams police officers via a written statement.

Padilla took off his apron, ready to go to jail, he said.

Corey Fritsinger, 19, is another manager at the store and the owner’s son.

“He told me that he was the police lieutenant and told me I had to give him his money back. I said that whether he’s the president of the United States or just a regular person, I can’t give him his money back,” Fritsinger said.

Fritsinger later left the counter to phone his father.

“He asked me how old I was and said he was going to take me to jail personally,” he said. “He said, ‘I’m putting you in the back of my car.’”

The Williams Police Department promptly responded to a public records request from the Arizona Daily Sun by providing documents on the case.

Statements from Graham’s call to police dispatch that day record Graham as saying to a dispatcher: “I’ve got a problem with the manager. I’m going to take him for fraudulent activity, so I need a car.”

Another Williams police officer said Graham asked to use the other officer’s handcuffs to make the arrest, according to reports, and Graham offered to write up the related arrest paperwork.

Graham was on leave from the department at the time, following a serious April motorcycle accident in which he received multiple injuries, including a brain injury.

His memory of the events is different.

“The thing that I’m proud of: I didn’t lose my temper. I didn’t raise my voice. This isn’t worth it,” Graham said, especially in light of the brain injury sustained in the motorcycle accident.

I’m not sure who to hate in this story. Should I hate the overreaction of a cop who starts using his badge to bully some fast food workers or should I hate the ridiculous policy that this franchise has refusing to refund money when they’re out of the product you paid for? Is it too much to ask for Palin to get involved so I can direct my anger constructively?

16 Comments

  1. It’s pretty easy to hate everyone involved. Although, I’d be pretty pissed off too, if I’d paid for something and they wouldn’t give me my money back.

    Many years ago, my family had coupons for KFC. We used three of them in conjunction and got a big meal for everyone. A few months later, we went back to the KFC with the same coupons – and the manager refused to honor them. Best part was, it was the SAME GUY who took them before. His excuse was “We were very busy the last time.” I responded, “My father and I were the only two people in the restaurant.”

    Haven’t been back to KFC since, and I never will be.

  2. They’re both wrong. The restaurant accepted payment then didn’t provide what was advertised. The cop was, well… being a dick, but only because he abused his position. He was right to expect a refund. More specifically, no crime worthy of apprehension had been committed, so the cop’s only legal recourse would have been to file a lawsuit and do his best to tarnish the name of KFC by way of publicizing the Hell out of his experience.

    On the other hand, if the clerk had been just a guy on the street running some scam and the cop stopped him for “fraudulent activity” (his charge in this case), an arrest would likely have been justified. The cop let his feelings get in the way of good judgment.

    Ironically, the only one with his head on straight in this one was a guy named Nixon (the Police Chief that fired the cop).

  3. Mike, what’s the difference between some guy on the street running some scam and a big business running a scam? If you pay for something and that something can’t be provided, you should get your money back. It isn’t the business’ money until they have completed the transaction by providing what they are being paid to provide. If they can’t do that, the transaction can’t be completed and they should give the money back. Any policy requiring them to keep the money is theft. I’m glad to hear about someone trying to do the right thing to corporate thieves.

    1. I never said the clerk wasn’t wrong, Common sense says he was. I was talking about the legal process and grounds for apprehension. Being arrested and booked doesn’t mean you’re guilty, it’s just the first step. That was why I said “no crime worthy of apprehension.” I probably should have said “immediate apprehension.” A guy on the street, even with ID, could disappear and continue to run his scam, so he should be taken into custody on the spot. A manager working in a brick and mortar establishment will still be there when charges are filed, so the legal process can make its decision. The policy about not giving refunds might have been a corporate policy and not his decision at all.

  4. Oooh, tough call…

    Not often that one finds a case of 50% gray area.

    My biggest concern is that a cop can get fired for doing this, but yet officers can get away with much worse (such as shooting a child in a botched raid, arresting a firefighter attending to an injured person, or tasering/assaulting a deaf man who doesn’t follow verbal instructions)

    Ignoring the whole “shoot the pigs” slant of this site, it’s still a remarkable index of police malfeasance: http://www.policecrimes.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=6

  5. Tough call.
    The cop certainly went overboard. Then I thought, “What if that had been me?” What are my options? Call the cops? There’s a straight-to-viral-audio:
    911: What is your emergency?
    Me: KFC won’t give me back my $6.25.
    911: We’ll have a squad car there ASAP!
    I need a little more info. Was the store’s policy as to refunds clearly displayed? What if your meal had been inedible or somehow contaminated? I don’t want a voucher for another bad meal!
    Still, sounds like jerks all around on this one.

  6. ‘Do you know who I am?’

    I think I know who to hate. That is a crappy policy for a franchise to have, but yelling at the kids behind the counter and threatening to arrest them won’t change it. Take it up with the owner later. Jeez.

    1. Yeah, every time I start hating the cop for that attitude I start remembering that they wouldn’t refund his money and I start thinking that would be where I started to lose it too….

      Also, he gets bonus points for not tazing anybody.

  7. If they didn’t have the chicken they should not have taken the money to start with – They should return his money – vouchers are a nuisance to keep track of. I had this happen at a movie theatre once – The film broke and the manager handed out passes for a future show. I hadn’t been to a movie in a year – The pass might expire before I ever go back there –
    Why should I be forced to come back to their theatre? I insisted on getting cash -the manager was really angry and finally gave in – When he came back with the money he practically threw it at me.

    1. You think getting vouchers for that is bad. A friend of mine went face first into a plastic fencing around a snow-tubing hill and got pretty badly scratched up. We had signed a form beforehand (although no form can totally stop you from suing)….he wasn’t the suing type anyway. What do you think they offered us? Our money back? No. Vouchers for us all to go again…go back to a place our friend had just gotten hurt at.

  8. The central fault here seems to be the stupid policy. The folks at the front have no idea if food is really out of stock or not – they’re just running the cash registers. I’ve been behind the counter and running my own business long enough to know this: Keep your customers happy and they will come back. Damn the “policy”.

    That being said, the cop was WAY out of line. He deserved some kind of discipline here.

    I guess I come down on the 50/50 line.

  9. I must admit, I get real upset if I pay for KFC and they have no more chicken breast. I don’t like the thighs or wings as much. I manage to contain myself though, and sulkily make do.

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