What sort of act is worth an arrest? Of course, murder, rape, and armed robbery fit the bill. But at a time when Michigan governor Rick Snyder can get away with poisoning the water supply of 100,000 people and causing irreparable damage, should taking a few ounces of pop at McDonalds be worthy of a felony theft arrest?
Police arrested 18-year-old Cody Morris of Springdale, Arkansas Monday for just that. The manager said that three people in the drive-thru asked for three large waters. Then the teens parked, went into the fast-food restaurant, and dumped the water out of their cups.
That is when the crime started. Each of the boys filled the empty cups with pop. The manager saw what they were doing, so he asked them to return the pop. Two did as he asked, one did not. Then, the manager called the police to report a robbery.
For some reason, the manager then decided to stand behind their parked car and block them. The crime escalated at that point from a simple theft of less than $1.49, with unlimited refills, to something much worse.
Morris put the car in reverse, hitting the manager. Then, the manager tried to take the keys out of the ignition, but the teen hit his hand. Once again, Morris tried to leave, and his car hit the manager.
Chief executive of CAP Index, Inc. Robert Figlio, Ph.D. provides crime-based risk assessment:
‘Whenever you have an operation that’s open late at night or 24 hours a day, that has a lot of customer foot traffic through the store, and where there’s cash available, you’re going to find higher crime potential at those locations. That’s the case with many gas stations, convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants.’
Nowhere in the managers’ job description does it say the manager must interrupt a robbery. By interfering, the man placed his life in danger because the teens could have had weapons or he could have been hit seriously with the car.
A general rule of thumb for fast-food restaurant personnel is:
‘Never fight back. Instruct employees to give criminals what they want. Workers should inform robbers that they are complying with their demands.’
Police found Morris’ car parked at a bowling alley and arrested Morris, according to their report.
What began as the theft of one pop escalated to a serious charge of felony robbery against Morris, because:
‘The property is obtained by the threat of serious physical injury to any person or destruction of the occupiable structure of another person.’
This type of felony can land the teen in jail for six to 30 years with a fine of up to $15,000.
McDonalds has a long list of unusual arrests related to it. Two journalists covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri say that they were arrested inside a local McDonald’s, and police released them later. Another time, a McDonald’s manager called police when some teens brought a ball inside.
In Utah, Police arrested a group of young people for rapping their order. In another incident, police arrested a mother for neglect when she let her nine-year-old and three-year-old walk down the street to McDonalds.
Morris is being held at the Washington County Detention Center with a hearing scheduled for Friday morning.
H/T: 40/29 TV News.