Why An Ex-McDonald's Staffer Threatened To 'Blow The Place Up'

One McDonald's worker was recently let go and appears to have been worried about being paid. Soon after, he complained about it in a manner that almost guarantees he will not receive his paycheck. On Friday morning of last week, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports, ex-employee Azeem Burton entered a McDonald's franchise in Old Lycoming Township, Pennsylvania. In a "highly aggravated" tone, he asked staff for the pay he was due for the last few hours he had worked. One employee explained that the check was in the mail and should arrive in "the next day or so," described local police officer Dalton Lovell.

Evidently, this wasn't good enough for Burton, who began to attempt to go behind the counter. When workers tried to stop him, he said would "blow the place up." After insisting that he would not leave until he was paid, Burton finally departed the McDonald's after staff members called the police. He has since been arrested for "charges of terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, defiant trespassing and harassment" and imprisoned.

It's not uncommon for McDonald's workers to face harassment on the job

This is not the only bomb threat made against McDonald's due to one individual's displeasure with the chain. In July, a man in the Iowan town of Ankeny discovered that his local McDonald's had neglected to include dipping sauce with his order of chicken McNuggets. So, he called to make "a threat to blow up the establishment and punch an employee in the face," reported Fox 10. His initial felony charge for "falsely reporting a bomb" was later downgraded to a misdemeanor for second-degree harassment, per WHO Radio.

It is not uncommon for McDonald's workers to face harassment or threats of violence while on the job, especially in recent years. A Service Employees International Union analysis of more than 77,000 911 emergency calls, made from fast food restaurants throughout California in 2017 to 2020 and citing "violent or threatening incidents," found that nearly 60% of these calls were made at McDonald's.