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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

OK, Then, Have It His Way

FARMINGTON, N.M. (CN) - A Burger King manager attacked a customer with a switchblade and a Taser after the man asked for his cold onion rings to be heated up, the customer claims in court.

The manager, Francisco Berrera, pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon, Robert DeYapp says in his Oct. 1 lawsuit in San Juan County Court.

DeYapp sued Berrera, Burger King, and several Burger King associates for the June 7, 2013 incident at the burger stand in Bloomfield, N.M., pop. 8,000.

DeYapp says his onion rings were served cold, so he took them back to the counter and ask Berrera if he could heat them up.

According to the lawsuit, "Mr. Berrera took the onion rings and then turned and said to a co-worker, 'Este gringo está enojado por la comida y no se da cuenta que yo lo voy a entregar y hacer lo que yo quiero y el todavía se lo come y nunca va tener idea a lo que yo hice a la comida.'"

Unfortunately for Berrera, DeYapp speaks fluent Spanish, and knew that Berrera had said: "This white boy is mad about his food, and he doesn't even know that I'm going to return it and do whatever I want to it and he'll still eat it and never have any idea of what I did to his food."

So, DeYapp says, he refused the food and asked for a refund, which Berrera refused. DeYapp says he went back to his seat to finish eating, at which point Berrera began taking photos of him and of his car.

When DeYapp asked why he was taking the photos, Berrera "came around the counter and began lunging at Mr. DeYapp with a Taser in one hand and a switchblade knife in the other hand," the complaint states.

DeYapp says he dodged the weapons until police came and arrested Berrera. He claims that Berrera "had prior incidents of uncontrolled anger and violent conduct toward patrons and co-workers, or which the defendants knew, or should have known."

He seeks punitive damages for assault and negligent hiring and training.

He is represented by Mitchel Burns, with Tuker, Burns Yoder & Hatfield, of Farmington.

Burger King's slogan is, "Have it your way."

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