AP NEWS

Fight at Fayetteville Waffle House prompts criminal charges, employee dismissal

May 9, 2019

Fayetteville police are taking a second look at an incident at a Waffle House that ended with a homeless man being dragged out of the restaurant last week by a restaurant worker.

The video that was taken by a customer at the restaurant, located on Raeford and Gillis Hill roads, is only 24 seconds long but it has resulted in criminal charges being filed against Michael Parker, 55, who refused orders to leave the Waffle House by a man who worked as a cook.

The employee in the video has been terminated from the company, according to a statement from a corporate spokesman.

The video shows the employee, who was not identified, yelling at Parker and demanding that he leave.

At one point, Parker stands up and asks for his change, but is then grabbed around the neck by the Waffle House worker and dragged out of the store.

He told WRAL News that he is homeless and admitted to having had a little too much alcohol to drink that night.

He said he had bruises on his knee and upper leg he says that resulted from the incident.

He says he didn’t want to be treated that way.

“That man had no right to put his hands on me like that,” Parker said. “If he wanted me out of that store, he could have called the police. If I had done something wrong, that’s what they’re there for.”

Fayetteville police responded to the restaurant and arrested Parker, who was charged with disorderly conduct.

But Fayetteville police said those charges occurred four days earlier at a different location. They said they were shown a different video that night that was taken by an employee.

“They were shown a video at that location at that time of Mr. Parker damaging property at the Waffle House,” said police Lt. Gary Womble. “I believe he smashed a plate or some type of dishware.”

He says he spent a night in jail as a result of the altercation.

Parker is scheduled to be in court on June 13 to answer to the charge filed against him.

He said he is hoping this video and the actions taken by the Waffle House employee gets those charges thrown out of court.

Fayetteville Police say based on this video, Parker has the right to file assault charges against the worker seen dragging Parker out of the restaurant.

“We are sorry this incident happened. We do not tolerate that type of behavior from our employees,” said a Waffle House corporate spokesman in a statement. “We looked into the matter immediately and the decision was made to terminate this employee.”