Just recently, Robert Williams, a 42-year-old man in Tampa, Florida, was hospitalized with severe second-degree burns after an employee at a Wingstop, quite unbelievably, threw hot grease on him during a brief altercation inside the store. Apparently, the scuffle broke out shortly after the 42-year-old engaged in fast food fury, throwing a cup of soda over the counter because he felt like the establishment was mistreating him.
“From the moment I entered, I sensed some sort of problem from the manager,” recalled Williams while speaking to reporters. Despite this, he still decided to place an order.
Once he completed his order, Williams reportedly sensed that the manager, who has yet to be identified, had become even more “defensive” for some reason. “We were exchanging words, nothing threatening but it wasn’t nothing pleasant. But it wasn’t nothing threatening,” he explained.
After “exchanging words” with the manager, Williams then proceeded to wait for his order but quickly became agitated when he noticed that other people who ordered after he did were getting their food before him.
“Long story short, four or five more people come in, get their menu, order…get their food before me,” mentioned Williams. This led him to believe that the manager was purposefully delaying his order so he decided to ask for his money back, which they agreed to do.
Upon receiving the refund, however, Williams “thanked” the employees by throwing the cup of soda he had ordered at them. “So they give me the refund and that’s when I said, ‘Well,’ and here goes the soda. I tossed it. I ain’t going to lie,” he admitted to reporters.
Unsurprisingly, doing so absolutely outraged the employee, who promptly hopped over the counter and confronted him.
According to Williams, the employees were the ones who attacked him. “Once she made it across the counter she attacked me immediately,” he insisted.
“They immediately leaped across the counter,” continued Williams. “A girl and a guy and attacked me, started fighting, I was trying to defend myself,” he added.
“Yes, I shouldn’t have tossed the soda but I was upset from the way they [were] handling it,” reasoned Williams, “but that didn’t lead to nobody injured…They didn’t decide to call the police. They took action into their own hands. They attacked me.”
According to the Tampa Police Department, however, it was Williams who allegedly escalated the situation by punching the manager.
Eventually, the fighting spilled out of the store. At some point during the fighting outside, a third employee who was later identified as 31-year-old Eddie Tignor stormed out of the back of the restaurant carrying a container of hot grease. He then rushed up to Williams and poured it onto his back.
“It is something I never felt in my life before,” recollected Williams while speaking about how painful the experience was.
“Like my worst nightmare. I don’t know. I don’t believe it right now still to this day,” he added, noting, “words can’t explain what that grease felt like. I just want the truth to be told. I want the world to know what happened and that’s it.”
After being covered in the hot grease, Williams then called his 47-year-old sister Robyn Williams and had her rush to the scene. “I feel like we could have been planning a funeral,” Williams’ sister mentioned to reporters. “I called the police, I called a paramedic. His skin was falling off,” she added.
Despite the fact that no arrests were made, Steve Hegarty, a Tampa Police Department spokesperson, told journalists his agency “recommended that prosecutors file a charge of aggravated battery against the employee.” In addition to Tignor, Williams, who mentioned that he plans on taking legal action against the company while recovering in the hospital, may also face charges for his role in the altercation.
Sadly, it’s quite common for a confrontation to quickly escalate. Earlier this month, for example, a man in New York was arrested by law enforcement officials shortly after he was caught on video repeatedly striking another person’s car with a wooden baseball bat during a frightening road rage rampage that went viral.
And several months ago, for instance, 37-year-old Darnell R. Scott was taken into custody and charged with “aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm” after he was caught on video savagely stabbing his 50-year-old brother-in-law, who has yet to be identified, over twenty-five times while on a city bus.
Without a doubt, unjustified violence against others must not be tolerated. Hopefully, investigators in Florida get to the bottom of what happened at the Wingstop and hold those responsible for misconduct accountable for their actions.