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Manager: Customer punches teenage worker after not getting free bottled water at McDonald's

“You’ve got to wonder what’s happening to civility to punch somebody in the head over a bottle of water.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A fast food order turned violent at a Charlotte McDonald’s.  

It happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Tyvola Road location. The manager said a customer jumped through the drive-thru window and hit a teenage worker.  

The manager said it started over an argument over bottled water. The customer wanted it for free, and when he didn’t get it, he got angry.  

Police said the suspect punched the 17-year-old male victim in the head and then caused about $400 in damage to a glass cookie display case.

“You’ve got to wonder what’s happening to civility to punch somebody in the head over a bottle of water,” said customer Brad Boaz.

It’s not the first time NBC Charlotte has reported on a confrontation between customers and employees at fast food restaurants.

Last month, a viral video showed a contentious encounter inside a Subway in Concord. Tina Richardson said the owner smacked her phone away, hit her in the head, and then threw the sandwich she was trying to get refunded. 

Subway released a statement, saying in part, “This incident is inconsistent with the high standards Subway restaurants require of its franchise owners. The franchise owner expressed regrets for how he handled the situation”.

“We’ve got to learn to be polite to each other,” Boaz told NBC Charlotte.

The manager of the McDonald’s said the suspect was with a group of people during the incident.  

“They (the suspect) should be held accountable for assault or at least damage of property,” said Boaz.

The manager also said the restaurant offered the man a free cup of water, but he only wanted bottled water, which he needed to pay for.

The 17-year-old victim suffered minor injuriesNo arrests have been made so far.

This statement was released by McDonald's Owner/Operator Marin Ranft:

"The safety of my customers and employees is a top priority and we are cooperating with law enforcement as they investigate this incident."

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