Burger King Employee in Cleveland Held at Gunpoint By Customer Who Was Offered Discount: 'I Don't Know Why You Want to Pay More Money'

By Leira Aquino

Apr 04, 2024 04:09 AM EDT

Burger King
A Burger King employee in Cleveland faced a gun threat after offering a discount to a customer.
(Photo : Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A Burger King employee in Cleveland found himself at the end of a gun barrel after offering a customer a discount on his order.

The incident, which occurred at the Burger King outlet on Vine Street in Willowick, Ohio on Easter morning,  has sparked a police investigation as authorities seek the unidentified suspect.

"Our Police Department is looking to identify this male that was involved in an incident at Burger King in our city," Willowick Police Department posted on Facebook along with screenshots of the CCTV footage that captured the suspect.

Customer Pulls Gun Over Burger King Discount

Surveillance footage revealed a disgruntled customer stepping out of his vehicle and pointing a firearm at 38-year-old Howard Vernon, who was working at the drive-thru window.

Vernon provided an account of the incident in an interview with WOIO-TV, revealing that the customer contested the total price of his order, which was approximately $8, thanks to a promotional offer running at the time.

"He was like, 'My order can't be right, it should be like $11,' and I'm like trying to explain to him that we had a promotion going on, and like it's cheaper," Vernon recalled. "I don't know why you want to pay more money."

After a heated exchange, the customer initially sped away but returned moments later, pulling up alongside another vehicle at the drive-thru window.

Vernon was assisting another customer when the suspect reappeared, this time with a gun in hand. The suspect hurled racial slurs and threats at Vernon before driving off.

The incident has left him shaken, contemplating the potential consequences for his ten children had the situation escalated.

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Burger King Employee Urges Community Support in Catching Gun-Wielding Suspect

Law enforcement officials from the Willowick Police Department are actively pursuing leads to apprehend the suspect.

Lt. Keith Lawrence of the Willowick Police Department noted a limitation in the surveillance footage captured at the Burger King drive-thru.

He explained that the cameras primarily captured the front of vehicles, and due to the absence of a front plate law in the state for the past couple of years, identifying the suspect from the footage became challenging.

Burger King has responded to the incident, expressing concern for the safety of its team members and pledging support to those affected.

Meanwhile, Vernon, who no longer works at Burger King, urges anyone with information to assist authorities in bringing the perpetrator to justice.

"He's a thug. He needs to get caught. He needs to be in jail," he asserted.

READ MORE: Actress Angie Harmon 'Traumatized' and 'Devastated' After Instacart Driver Shot, Killed Her Dog

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