McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in the Queenstown CBD is reviewing its late-night security cover after a duty manager pleaded guilty to a violent assault.
Rishi Kumar, 34, faces jail after admitting kicking a customer in the head at the Camp Street restaurant cafe on Thursday, August 30.
The New Zealand head office of the international franchise has concluded an investigation and is now conducting a full risk assessment of the town centre trouble hotspot.
A McDonald’s spokesman says: “The safety of our customers and staff is of the utmost importance to McDonald’s and we take a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of behaviour in our restaurants – be it by staff or customers.
“McDonald’s Queenstown currently contracts security each Friday and Saturday night, which are typically the restaurant’s busiest nights. However, we are continually monitoring this to ensure we’re using the most appropriate security cover, ensuring the safety of staff and customers at all times.”
The spokesman says the Queenstown restaurant fully co-operated with the police investigation.
Kumar was working as duty manager that day when, at 3am, a man entered an area restricted to staff only in the restaurant via the upstairs cafe.
Within seconds of being removed by Kumar, the man twice returned to the restricted area, Queenstown District Court heard on Monday.
The victim then walked up to Kumar, holding his cellphone out and pointing it at Kumar. Kumar grabbed the man’s right arm, swinging him round and punched him in the face with a closed fist.
Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says: “The defendant then pulls the victim to the floor. Once on the floor the defendant stomps on the victim’s torso using his right foot. The defendant, then using his left foot, football kicks the victim in the face.”
As another McDonald’s worker went to the scene, Kumar ripped the cellphone from the victim’s hand.
The incident was captured on McDonald’s CCTV cameras. The victim needed medical attention and received five stitches to his face.
Explaining his actions to police, Kumar said he “felt scared” of the victim returning to the restricted area for a third time, Collin says.
Kumar has resigned from McDonald’s.
Judge Phillips remanded Kumar on bail for sentencing on October 23 and called for presentence reports into home detention, however a term of imprisonment is likely, he says.
A 23-year-old Queenstown woman was arrested for disorder at 4.30am on Monday after going behind the counter at the same McDonald’s cafe, which is frequently unmanned as staff collect orders from the kitchens in the main downstairs restaurant.
Police were called when she became argumentative and started throwing around food. She received a pre-charge warning. Three people were arrested last week for similar offences in separate incidents.
Informant cops it
A 42-year-old Queenstown man is charged with reckless driving after allegedly crashing his car into another motorist’s vehicle because he was phoning the police to report him.
Charles James Andrews was arrested at 7pm on Sunday night in Larch Court, Kelvin Heights, after the incident.
Andrews is accused of reversing his car into the vehicle after its driver had followed him and then called police about alleged drink-driving.
The local appeared in Queenstown District Court on Monday where he was remanded on bail without plea until October 8.
A West Coast man was arrested for wilful damage after crashing through a shop window while drunk.
The 22-year-old smashed through the window on Lake Esplanade on Sunday night. Charges were dropped when he appeared in Queenstown District Court on Monday.
Sergeant Blair Duffy says: “He was walking along Lake Esplanade intoxicated. He ran off but was chased by security staff, caught and then arrested.”
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