Police: Wendy's Manager Doused Patron With Oil

Victim suffered burns in drive-thru dispute

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Wendy's Oil Assault

OCTOBER 8--A drive-thru dispute at a Wendy’s in Tennessee turned felonious when a restaurant manager doused a customer with hot oil, leaving the victim with burns and extensive blistering, police allege.

Demarrus Pritchett, a 21-year-old shift manager, is facing an aggravated assault charge following a confrontation Tuesday at a Wendy’s in Huntingdon, a town about 115 miles west of Nashville.

As detailed in a criminal complaint, Pritchett was involved in a “verbal altercation” with customer Zayveon Johnson over “food obtained in the Wendy’s drive-thru.” Johnson, cops say, contended that the items he received were cold.

A police review of store surveillance footage showed that while Pritchett was “conducting a cash refund,” he returned to the restaurant’s kitchen “to obtain the hot oil in a metal pan.” The scalding oil apparently was taken from a deep fryer.

Upon returning to the drive-thru window, Pritchett “doused Mr. Johnson with the hot oil,” according to an affidavit sworn by Ethan Parham, a Huntingdon Police Department officer. Johnson, 23, was treated at a local hospital for “burns on his left side and arm, which showed obvious, extensive blistering.”

During police questioning, Pritchett reportedly admitted to throwing the scalding oil on Johnson. The Wendy’s employee, cops noted, said that Johnson “had been harassing him over the course of several weeks about dogs.” The nature of this purported canine conflict is not further addressed in the complaint.

Pritchett, seen above, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Carroll County jail on the felony rap. He was subsequently released after posting $5000 bail. (2 pages)