SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSTM) - Several employees at a Syracuse Dunkin' Donuts have been fired after a video surfaced online allegedly showing a worker throwing water on a homeless man.
The video sparked protests Monday morning at the Dunkin' Donuts location on N. Salina Street, where the incident took place.
The protesters said they are angry and hurt, and that the incident should never have happened. Some were calling for the firing of the worker who dumped water on the man. Others said they just want the employee to apologize.
The victim's mother said he was at the Dunkin' to charge his phone so he could call her.
Betty Jo Craven told CNYCentral that she is the aunt of the victim, whose name is Jeremy . She said he is disabled, has schizophrenia and sometimes needs oxygen.
"He was a foster care child, him and his brother Sammy, back in 2000," Jo Craven said. "And he has been incarcerated for certain things. Jeremy has oxygen deprivation. He's not autistic like everybody's stating."
Craven said she is humiliated by what happened.
Kimberly Wolak, Dunkin' Franchise and Chief Operating Officer, released the following statement to CNYCentral on Monday evening:
Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina Street location, we were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video. It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization--which include creating a welcoming and hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect. The employees involved in the incident have been terminated, and we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience.
We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate assistance.