MADEIRA BEACH — A Madeira Beach McDonald’s worker was fired after allegedly refusing service to two Sunstar Paramedics employees July 31.
In a Facebook post that he has since removed, Anthony Quinn, a paramedic with Sunstar, wrote that he entered the McDonald’s restaurant located at 650 150th Ave. to use the bathroom and an employee told him, “We don’t accept officers in here.”
Quinn wrote, “I tell her I’m not an officer. She then says anyone with a badge. Then says it to my partner as he walks in to order food, says we don’t serve your kind here. Just insane how people are.”
Keisha Boyd, associate director of public relations for the Caspers Co., which owns and operates more than 50 McDonald’s restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area, including the Madeira Beach location, said nobody from the company was available for an interview. She did say, though, that the employee was fired, and issued a statement on behalf of Caspers: “We are aware of the unfortunate incident that took place at one of our restaurants....We, like you, were upset and disappointed and took immediate action. The employee has been terminated. What occurred does not reflect the values of our brand, our franchise, or the love and admiration we have demonstrated consistently for our friends in law enforcement and first responders. We have reached out to offer our sincerest apology.”
A young adult identified herself as the employee involved in the incident and in an interview with the Beacon said it was “nothing but a joke.” She asked that her name not be used in a newspaper article.
She said that when the first paramedic entered the restaurant, she jokingly told him they didn’t have any food. She said that he laughed and left the building.
“I don’t understand how he took it so serious when he thought it was funny,” she said.
She added, “It’s a joke. Don’t take it personally.”
She also denies saying, “We don’t serve your kind here.”
Since the incident, she’s been “harassed” on social media by strangers, she added.
Quinn did not respond to an interview request from the Beacon.
In an Aug. 2 Facebook post, he wrote that the July 31 incident was “unfortunate” and that he is “putting the situation behind [him] and going to continue to help people to the best of [his] ability.”
He added, “In my frustration of the situation I took to social media which probably wasn't the best. There were other ways the situation could have been handled, that's my fault and I apologize. I understand the employee was terminated and McDonald's took appropriate action, thank you. I will not be answering phone calls or messages about interviews so please stop blowing my phone up.”
Mike Rieman, a public relations representative for Sunstar, said the company had no comment on the incident.