Burger King Complaint - Talk about poor customer service: A Burger King employee slashes a customer's throat!
WATERBURY, CONNECTICUT -- http://www.rep-am.com/story.php?id=30450
From the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American:
After slashing, man's 'lucky to be alive'
Saturday, November 19, 2005
BY MARRECCA FIORE
WATERTOWN -- A 34-year-old Waterbury man whose throat was slashed during a dispute he had with a Burger King employee has been released from the hospital and is doing well, his lawyer said Friday.
"He was talking and able to recount the events of incident," Middlebury attorney John Kaloidis said of his client, Fred DeLuca. "He's still in a lot of pain. But he looks to be OK."
DeLuca's jugular vein was severed and his carotid artery nicked during a dispute, allegedly with Burger King employee Harold Lee Lewis, 41, of 199 Colonial St., third floor, Oakville. Lewis has been charged with first-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence and breach of peace.
Police seized the sharp-edged tool that Lewis allegedly used to slash DeLuca's throat, said Lt. Robert Desena.
He said Lewis was charged with evidence tampering because a surveillance tape showed that after the attack, he tried to wash the tool, which Desena said was used to cut open boxes at the restaurant.
"We believe from our investigation, and after interviewing witnesses in the Burger King and in video surveillance taken inside the Burger King that an attempt was made by the accused to wash or clean ... the tool that we believe was used by the accused to slash the victim," he said.
DeLuca was released from Waterbury Hospital Friday, Kaloidis said.
Lewis is behind bars, according to a Waterbury Superior Court clerk. Lewis' bail was set Thursday at $500,000. He is due back in court Monday.
Kaloidis described DeLuca as "lucky to be alive."
"I don't know how he survived it," he said.
Kaloidis also is representing DeLuca's mother, who was in the car and witnessed her son's attack, which happened Wednesday at around 8:19 p.m. The dispute can be traced back to a few days earlier when DeLuca spent about $20 on five takeout meals at the restaurant at 1258 Main St. Some of the orders were said to be wrong.
DeLuca called Burger King to complain and was told to come back for replacement meals. He returned Wednesday. In the drive-through, there was a squabble over the receipt, which he did not have, and he was told to drive to the front of the store so someone could bring the order out, police have said. Lewis came out with his food.
Witnesses told police the two argued outside the restaurant and Lewis allegedly slashed DeLuca's throat.
"Apparently, (Lewis) did not like my client's tone. He can be a little animated," Kaloidis said.
Police credited Burger King employee Trevor Zygmunt of Waterbury with being among the first to come to the victim's aid by applying pressure to the wound.
Contacted Friday, Zygmunt said Burger King management asked him not speak with the media. A request to interview Zygmunt also was made to Burger King's corporate office in Miami. Spokeswoman Lauren Hammann declined the request.
Lewis was arrested 10 times between 1990 and 2000 for two third-degree assault charges and other charges including possession of drugs and larceny. He also has served jail time.
Desena said the incident is still under investigation by Watertown detectives under the supervision of Sgt. David Bromley.
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