VIDEO: Officer tells homeless man to leave McDonald’s after stranger pays for meal
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A Facebook video filmed at a Myrtle Beach McDonald's showing a police officer telling a man to leave, after a paying customer reportedly paid for his meal, is going viral and sparking outrage.
Yossi Gallo, the man who shot the video, said he got into an argument with the management at the McDonald's near downtown Myrtle Beach and a police officer, after he tried to buy a homeless man food.
"I waved him down, and I said, 'Hey, are you hungry?' and he said, 'Yes,'" Gallo said in an interview with WMBF News. "So I went in there with him, and as soon as we went inside, the lady at the register says, 'You're not getting food.' She tells him he's not getting food."
Gallo says he couldn't believe what he was seeing, so he started recording the incident on his phone. McDonald's management didn't take too kindly to his yelling.
"You guys suck. He didn't even ask me for food. I brought him from outside. You guys suck," Gallo can be heard saying in the video.
McDonald's management didn't take too kindly to his yelling.
"Calm your voice. That's what I'm asking you to do," one of the employees said to Gallo in the video.
"This is how I talk. I talk loud. If the officer has a problem with that, the officer's going to arrest me," Gallo responded.
"Sir, you're being disorderly," the employee said.
Gallo was later escorted out of the building.
Myrtle Beach Police Capt. Joey Crosby said via email officers went to the restaurant after an employee called to report a man was in the parking lot asking people for money.
When the officer arrived at the restaurant, the employee told police the man was inside the restaurant, according to Crosby. That employee also requested a trespass warning be issued and the person asked to leave the premises.
"The officer advised the male of the request made by the business and issued the warning," Crosby said. "A bystander, who was videotaping the incident, was also trespassed from the location, at the request of the manager, for what management deemed as disorderly behavior.
Joel Pellicci, Jr., the owner of the McDonald's where the incident took place, provided the following statement:
"At my restaurant, the goal is to provide our customers with a positive and welcoming experience each time they visit. Unfortunately, the individual in this video has a history of disruptive behavior and has been asked to leave by management and police on several occasions."
Pellicci also said additional information may be provided by the McDonald's corporate office.
But there's more to this story than what happened at McDonald's. Gallo posted his video showing part of the incident to Facebook. It quickly went viral. As of Thursday morning, the video had over 21 million views, 550,000 shares, and 269,000 reactions.
Several viewer comments expressed anger toward the restaurant's managers and the officer shown in the video, particularly her saying "I am the law."
The comments section of the video is flooded with nasty, crude and misogynistic comments about the police officer. Some even posted screenshots and links to the officer's personal Facebook page. The page has since been made unavailable.
Gallo says it wasn't his intention to have that happen to her.
"I think that's completely wrong," Gallo said. "Completely wrong. I do believe that she was doing her job. I do believe that she was doing her job. She did nothing wrong. I don't have any anger towards her in any way."
Gallo said that if he could say something to the commenters leaving nasty comments about the officer, "I would say please definitely leave her alone. She was very polite. She was doing her job. I wouldn't want anyone to speak badly of her. She was very nice actually."
The Facebook page for that McDonald's location has also been flooded with over 10,000 one-star reviews following this incident.
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