A video making waves on Facebook allegedly shows a now-former Dunkin' Donuts employee mistreating a homeless person.
The video was posted Sunday night of the incident at the North Salina Street store in Syracuse.
The video shows the man, who family has confirmed as Jeremy Young, woken up by a pitcher of water being thrown on him by an employee wearing a headset. The employee yelled at the man, saying that he had warned him to stop sleeping in the restaurant before.
"I'm appalled, for an employee of Dunkin Donuts, he had no reason to do what he did to my nephew,” said Betty Jo Cravin, Young’s aunt. “Very warm, caring, laid-back person, he doesn't bother nobody, he doesn't speak unless he's spoken to."
Cravin said she tried to take him in, but says he sometimes prefers the street.
"He’s been through a lot, he's been through the foster care system,” she said. “Jeremy has oxygen deprivation, he's an epileptic and he has schizophrenia.''
Cravin says her nephew is constantly mistreated because he is homeless.
"I took him shopping, got him a bookbag,” she said. “He was robbed while he was sleeping over here on church steps.”
Local homeless advocacy group 'We Rise Above The Streets' knows about this behavior all too well — and they were quick to come to Young's defense, protesting outside the store Monday.
The franchisee and COO of the North Salina location announced Monday evening the employees involved have since been fired.
She released the following statement:
“Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina Street location, we were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video. 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.
We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate assistance.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to replace Young's property that was damaged by the water.