Hash brown debacle at Mesa McDonald's leads to 911 calls, citations

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz.-- Tempers flared at a brand-new McDonald's in Mesa over two missing hash browns.

Michael and Nova Smith say they ordered the #2 and the #4 breakfast combo meals Sunday morning in the drive-thru.

When Nova went inside to get the missing potatoes, she said she did not receive a very warm welcome. She said the manager was defensive and not cooperative.

"You don't go accusing people of things when they come in holding a bag, and we were just there 30 seconds ago," Nova said.

The McDonald's at Baseline Road and Country Club Drive is just three weeks old. Nova said the manager demanded a receipt, but the receipt showed the combos were not ordered.

Nova said the manager was demeaning and condescending, so she flung her food in frustration. The food slid across the floor.

Her husband came in to help out. He just wanted their money back for the food, as well as some respect.

"It was a matter of principle that they would talk to her so demeaning," Michael said.

Michael, an employee and a customer all called 911.

"Are you involved in this?" asked the 911 operator when Michael called in. "Yes," he replied. "I'm the one who's trying to get my money back."

"I work at the McDonald's at Country Club and Baseline and we need an officer here right now," the employee told the 911 operator. "I was just assaulted by a patron."

"We went behind the counter," a customer told the 911 operator. "We were trying to order. My daughter started freaking out and crying. The guy... um... walked past her and went into the counter and was going to hit him."

Police came and gave the Smiths citations for disorderly conduct and non-injury assault.

Michael said he's never returning to McDonald's again.

Statement from McDonald's

"This was a surprising and aggressive response by a customer to a discussion where my employee was seeking to resolve the customer's inquiry about their order. We always aim to treat our customers with respect and will continue to do so."

-- Shane Thompson, McDonald's Franchisee