A new lawsuit accuses employees at a Popeyes restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, of attacking a woman in the drive-thru after she attempted to have her order corrected.
The incident allegedly happened in September 2022 at the Popeyes location on Cleveland Avenue in southwest Atlanta.
After Denetra Dawson attempted to fix an incorrect order, employees allegedly attacked her, pulling out a chunk of her hair and leaving her bruised, according to the lawsuit filed Friday. Dawson said in the lawsuit that when she tried to have her order fixed, words were exchanged before the employees attacked.
“I didn’t even think I was going to make it back to my kids,” Denetra Dawson told Fox 5 Atlanta. “I simply went to get food for my kids, I still don’t understand why me.”
The David Bozeman Law Firm attorney Mawuli Davis, who is working on the case, told the outlet that one employee physically opens Dawson’s passenger door, enters the vehicle and begins to attack her.
Dawson said three employees were involved in the attack and that the only way she could stop them was by pulling out a gun. She called Atlanta Police after the incident.
According to an incident report, two people — Tenice Taylor and a minor — were charged with battery. A third person identified as Tenister Evans was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of an officer.
“They ripped out the braid out of her hair, all the way down to the root,” Davis said.
Dawson said she was left with physical and emotional scars after the attack. “They took my identity, I take pride in my hair, I can’t get certain hairstyles,” she said.
The people who allegedly attacked Dawson and the company that owns this restaurant are all being sued in connection with last year’s attack.
Davis claims the restaurant’s manager had a documented criminal past involving violent acts, and that Popeyes showed negligence by hiring this person and not conducting proper background checks.
“This incident is an outrageous example of Popeyes’ failure to prioritize customer safety and well-being,” Davis said in a statement. “By hiring a manager with a history of violence, Popeyes exhibited a reckless disregard for the safety of their patrons. The manager and two employees exited Popeyes and violently attacked her inside of her car. We are resolute in our commitment to holding the restaurant accountable for their actions and seeking justice for our client.”
Popeyes said in a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta that it has “absolutely no tolerance for violence of any kind” in its restaurants.
“The franchisee of this restaurant confirmed the incident took place in September 2022, and the employees involved were immediately terminated,” the statement continued. “We cannot share any additional details as there is an active lawsuit related to this incident.”