It’s the end of a long story that started back in 2005, when a New York City police officer said he bit into shards of glass in his Big Mac after picking up food from the drive-thru a McDonald’s in the Bronx. An 18-year-old cashier confessed to the alleged crime, and the officer sued the franchise for $6 million. But the worker recanted his confession and was later acquitted of charges related to the incident, and the officer settled for $15,000 back in 2009. It was that settlement that paved the way for the cashier to fight back against the city, arguing that the officer made the whole thing up to sue the city for money. He’s won a settlement with NYC himself, nabbing $437,000 for his efforts this week.
The worker was acquitted in 2010, after his defense team argued that he had been under pressure from four detectives at the time, which is why he felt pressured to confess. And after the police officer settled with the city, it allowed his lawyer to get his hands on the depositions from that time and uncover crucial inconsistencies in the story, reports the Associated Press.
Previously, the worker had tried to argue that it was a fabrication, but the case was dismissed in 2012, a decision that a lower state appeals court upheld. But then, the New York State Supreme Court decided to hear the case earlier this month, leading the city to offer him the settlement this week.
“I was thrilled when I found out,” the now a 28-year-old said.”I really thought this wasn’t going to happen.”
His attorney said the depositions showed inconsistencies within the officer’s story of that night, where the cop claimed he’d driven away and bitten into the glassy burger. After that he’d stopped to take care of his canine partner, before calling his superior and heading to the hospital.
Despite what he’d told other officers, medical records from that ER visit show that there were no apparent symptoms of swallowing glass, the worker’s attorney argued, and that the officer’s claim that he’d talked to his family doctor later about finding glass in his stool weren’t true — the doctor testified that the conversation never happened.
Restaurant workers also testified that the worker had been a half hour late the night of the incident, and wasn’t even on duty when the officer bought his Big mac. Somehow that information never made it into the police report, the lawyer says.
Now, almost 10 years later, the workers says he’s happy to finally have some closure.
“It’s not fair what they did,” he said. “It makes a lot of good officers look bad.”
For more background on the story, check out this 2010 piece from the New York Times.
McDonald’s worker charged in glass-in-Big Mac case wins $437K[The Associated Press]