An Alabama Arby’s manager was charged with assault Monday, accused of having thrown hot grease at a drive-thru customer, resulting in severe burns to the victim’s body.
Police in Hueytown, near Birmingham, said they arrested Shea Denise Peoples, 50, at an Arby’s on Saturday shortly after an “altercation between an employee and a customer” in which an employee of the fast-food chain “threw hot grease at a customer in the drive-thru. “
The unnamed victim, a woman in her 30s, has second-degree burns “covering a large portion of her body” and is still recovering at UAB Hospital, Hueytown police said.
Police Chief Mike Yarbrough said the argument “just got out of hand,” NBC affiliate WVTM of Birmingham reported.
“I would say, for a lack of a better word, she just snapped,” Yarbrough said of the suspect.
Peoples were arrested and later charged with first-degree assault, and her bond was set at $ 30,000, police said Monday. Peoples was released on bond Monday evening, according to a public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
In a statement, an Arby’s spokesperson said the actions Peoples is accused of were “reprehensible.”
“We immediately terminated the offender, and we are cooperating with the local authorities in their investigation. Our heart goes out to the guest, and we are working to help support their recovery. ”
Ryan Canon, whose law firm, Morris Bart LLC, is representing the victim in a personal injury suit filed Monday against Arby’s and others, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In remarks to WVTM on Tuesday, Canon said the attack “appears to be completely unprovoked” and claimed that “there was nothing at all that provoked this situation.”
Canon said his client was with her two young daughters when she placed an order for milkshakes and was called an impolite name by the manager.
“My client simply asked whether the employee would appreciate her being called that, and that is when the employee allegedly went back, got the grease and threw it on her. There was no name-calling, no escalation or threats or anything made by me client, “Canon told WVTM.
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said it is not clear whether Peoples is represented by an attorney.
Attempts to reach Peoples at several publicly available phone numbers were not successful.
Antonio Planas contributed.