Jeremy Dufresne is a homeless man who utilizes Dunkin’ to get warm and charge his phone.
Dufresne told Syracuse.com that he calls his mother to tell her goodnight every evening. As his phone charged to enable him to make the call, he put his head down for a minute at the Dunkin’ on North Salina Street.
That’s when an employee dumped water on his head.
Someone else recorded the moment, after which the employee started laughing. “How many times do I gotta tell you to stop sleeping in here,” he told Dufresne, who said he was not sleeping.
Worker Has Problems
Dufresne reckons the worker has some problems of his own.
“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said of the worker. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
He noted that other workers at the Dunkin’ location have been nice to him and sometimes give him food or drinks.
Family members said Dufresne suffers from schizophrenia, and they’ve tried to help him over the years but he said he prefers to sleep outside and be alone.
Dunkin Donuts employee shown dumping water on a homeless man. This video makes me sick to watch https://t.co/kaAaYhiCDF
— Morgan Kolkmeyer (@MorganKolkmeyer) October 2, 2018
The employee recorded dumping the water and another employee, who is believed to have been recording, have been fired, Dunkin’ said.
“We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video,” said Dunkin’ Franchisee and Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Wolak in a statement obtained by WSYR.
“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.
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— Cicely (@CTyraBojrab) October 2, 2018
She said the company will work will local groups to teach employees how to interact properly with homeless people.
The Onondaga County District Attorney’s office has been investigating the incident and told Syracuse.com that the employee could be charged with harassment, which has similar penalties to speeding.
William Fitzpatrick, the district attorney, said he is also working with Dunkin’, and the local homeless outreach group “In My Father’s Kitchen” to institute training for workers and information for the community.
“Let’s not allow this to become the norm—that’s the way we treat homeless people,” Fitzpatrick said.