ZION, Ill. - A Dairy Queen franchisee in Zion, Illinois, has received word from corporate that his location has been shut down effective immediately in response to a female customer's accusations that he called her a racial slur in front of her kids when she asked for a refund on an incomplete order.
Deianira Ford, 21, was with her two kids at the Dairy Queen on Wednesday when the alleged incident occurred.
She said that now ex-franchisee James Crichton hurled a slur at her when she asked for a refund of $5.
"He called me and my children (slur); he said I can go back to where I came from," Ford told The Washington Post. "He took out his flip phone and he said he would take a picture and put it on Facebook because he wants to show the world what kind of (slur) he has to deal with. Then he shut the window and walked away."
"My daughter is 3. She's a little sponge; she repeats everything. She asked me: 'Mommy, are we (slur)?'" she added.
She also said that when she asked for Crichton's name, he replied "Bill Clinton — better yet, I'm Donald Trump."
A police report released Thursday says that Crichton "proudly admitted" to using the slur and said he "would be happy go to jail over the issue."
The responding officer also noted that after hearing Ford's story, Crichton appeared "angry and was pacing continually back and forth 180 degrees around me. He was also slightly shaking."
"I asked him what happened with Ford and told him she was so disturbed by his behavior she was willing to sign a complaint against him," the officer wrote. "(He) boastfully told me he would be happy to go to jail over the issue and proudly admitted to calling Ford a slur. He added that he is 'fed up with black people,'" according to the officer's report.
Crichton has since denied the report in an interview with the Lake County News-Sun, calling it "99 percent lies."
"This is blown so far out of proportion it's stupid. Her order was confusing, and I told her, 'Here's your money back,'" he said. "This is so far blown out of proportion."
The officer would later say that the franchisee later on "did not recognize me as the officer who spoke to him (Wednesday)" and "continued to contradict his story about (Wednesday) morning to me several more times and was becoming angered that I did not believe him."
Crichton has since apologized and asked for forgiveness, but Dairy Queen did not waste any time terminating his franchise rights, according to a company statement.
American Dairy Queen Corporation announced this evening that it is in the process of terminating the franchise rights of the owner of the Zion, IL Dairy Queen location, effective immediately.
The recent actions of this franchisee are inexcusable, reprehensible, unacceptable and do not represent the values of the Dairy Queen family, our employees, fans and other independent franchisees around the world.
We expect our franchisees and their employees to treat every single person who walks through their doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable.
The restaurant will be closed until further notice.
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