Restaurant employees fired after pretending to spit in NC cop's drink

Bojangles management apologized to the officer and said it's “working closely with local law enforcement"

By Simone Jasper
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Bojangles apologized to an Eastern North Carolina police officer who said a worker pretended to spit in her drinks.

Authorities are investigating after Jillian Wenderoth, a Jacksonville police officer, said she experienced discrimination at a drive-through at the fast-food chicken restaurant, WCTI reported Monday.

Bojangles Pulled-Pork BBQ
Bojangles Pulled-Pork BBQ (Photo/Bojangles)

In a Facebook post last week, Wenderoth said a Bojangles employee cursed and started laughing with a coworker when she pulled up to the pick-up window. She said one of the employees “made the motion to spit in the drinks” he was preparing for her.

“I had the privilege of being judged and discriminated because of the uniform I wear,” the officer wrote about the events she said unfolded at a Bojangles on Halltown Road in Jacksonville. The restaurant is near the Camp Lejeune Marine base.

In a statement to McClatchy News, Bojangles said it fired the workers involved.

“We became aware of the unfortunate isolated incident that took place at our Jacksonville restaurant last week and took immediate action,” the emailed statement said. “After contacting the customer directly and conducting a thorough investigation, the employees responsible were immediately terminated.”

Wenderoth said on Facebook the restaurant chain apologized and shared its “support for law enforcement.”

“Anyone in my career knows how huge of an effect it is when people believe that ‘the actions of few represents the whole,’” Wenderoth wrote in an updated post. “I do not hold the actions of these select employees against the Bojangles franchise.”

Michael Yaniero, chief of Jacksonville police, told WCTI an investigation is being conducted to determine if there was food tampering.

“Our goal obviously is to unite the community but unfortunately events like this divide us,” Yaniero said.

Bojangles told McClatchy News it’s “working closely with local law enforcement.”

“This type of behavior is not consistent with our values or our culture, and it will not be tolerated at any Tands restaurant,” the company said, referring to the franchise group that operates Bojangles eateries in North Carolina and Virginia.

©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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