The D.C. Chick-fil-A customer was enraged, shouting at other customers, striding behind the counter, yelling at employees and responding to a manager’s demand to leave by throwing a punch.
The violence that followed has become the subject of a video that has raced around the Internet, a viral fight with enduring consequences for the employee and customer who became combatants.
The video shows the 27-year-old manager of the Chick-fil-A in the Northwest Washington neighborhood, Tenleytown, straddling the 55-year-old customer in the booth and delivering punches to the older man’s face.
Then the fight spilled onto the floor, where the pummeling continued before another man pulled the manager away.
Later, another employee can be seen pulling the irate customer’s legs out from under him.
Police summoned to the scene arrested the customer, who a D.C. police spokesman identified as 55-year-old Sean Turner.
According to the spokesman, Turner “started the altercation; and that is why he was arrested.”
He was taken to a police station, given a ticket to appear in court, then released, which is routine for people charged with low-level offenses.
Turner was also taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The manager — identified as the victim in the police report — was not arrested, but “is no longer working in the restaurant,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post.
“This video is incredibly disturbing to watch, and we do not condone violence or the team member’s response to the situation in any way,” the statement said.
“Our franchise restaurant Operators and their team members strive to create a safe and welcoming environment and to treat all guests with dignity and respect. This situation does not live up to our brand’s commitment to hospitality, and for that, we are very sorry.”
The fight joins a long-line of viral fights that feature fast-food employees and the customers they do not believe are right.
In April, an employee and a customer were recorded engaged in a fight at a Burger King in Waukesha, Wis., Fox News reported.
And in the summer, two employees at a Las Vegas McDonald’s punched and flung a customer around, according to TMZ. The customer was apparently trying to use a water cup to get soda and then threw a milkshake at intervening employees.