A Popeyes manager was reportedly arrested after hitting a teen employee who reportedly wanted to clock out of work.
In the video shared online earlier this week, a man in a yellow manager’s polo argues with a female employee behind the counter. Accounts of the incident claim that she was trying to clock out.
Despite another employee’s attempts to get in between and deescalate the situation, the manager, later identified as 20-year-old Marquez Smith by local outlet WALB News, slaps the 17-year-old employee across the face.
He gets driven out from behind the counter and toward the front door of the restaurant by other employees, screaming about how “disrespectful” everyone is in the process.
A police report shows that Smith was arrested following the incident and charged with battery and first-degree cruelty to children.
People online, where the video went viral, reacted to the incident with anger. “But then call workers disrespectful I literally walked off my job because of this. They be wanting people to do stuff they can’t or not obligated to do,” one Twitter user said.
Popeyes also responded to the video, noting in a public statement that Smith was immediately fired.
“We are absolutely horrified, like the rest of the public,” it said on Twitter. “We are working with local authorities and the franchisee to ensure the impacted team member has the support she needs to fully recover.”
Update 7:46am CT, June 7: The chief of police for Bainbridge Township Police clarified with the Daily Dot that the worker is 17, a legal adult in Georgia. “(The manager) was charged with Battery and Disorderly Conduct, arrested, and transported to the Decatur County Jail,” the chief of police said in a statement.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct age of the worker.
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