ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Lonnie Johnson says he wasn't mad about being fired -- it was the money he was angry about.
Johnson, a 17-year-old junior at Como Park High School, says the viral rampage he went on after he was fired from the Midway McDonald's happened because he didn't get all the money he was due in his last paycheck. (Watch the video here -- warning, it contains lots of profanity.)
Around 10 p.m. Saturday, Johnson was fired. He had worked at the Midway McDonald's since August of last year.
Asked why manager Brandon Robertson fired him -- Robertson has since been fired himself in part because of concerns about how he handled the situation -- Johnson says, "I don't know."
"Honestly, there was not a reasonable reason to fire me," Johnson continues. "I was talking about the money right then and there. I just wanted my money."
Johnson made $8 an hour, and says he last check was about $80-$90 short. After he was fired, he says Robertson told him another manager would make him whole, but for Johnson, that wasn't satisfactory.
"Once you play with my money and my time, you've pushed me past all the limits," Johnson says. "But [Robertson and I] never had a dispute. I go to work, get my money, and leave."
Yesterday, Robertson told Fox 9 he thought part of the motivation for Johnson's rampage may have been to play to the camera in hopes of becoming a viral video star. But Johnson says he actually had no idea he was being filmed until later, and didn't know the person behind the camera.
After he finally left the McDonald's following his tirade, Johnson says the person who shot the footage approached him and asked if he could post it online.
"I said, 'I don't think it's going to do anything,'" he says.
Yet as this is written, the video has been viewed more than 3.1 million times.
Johnson says it's been a surreal week.
"People have just been telling me they've been seeing me all over the news, headlines, all over Facebook blogs," he says. "I don't really have a feeling about it. It's just like, that's what happened, it's done, there's no taking back anything, what happened is what happened."
"Now I'm just seeing what the next move is for me," he adds. "I don't have any beef."
Johnson says he hasn't found another job yet, but has already had opportunities come his way.
He's also learned a valuable lesson about himself.
"I can't work the average job -- it leads to problems like this," he says.
After high school, Johnson says he hopes to break into the film industry. Some might say that mission has already been accomplished.
Meanwhile, a St. Paul police spokesman tells us that despite the extensive property damage Johnson inflicted on the Midway McDonald's, they don't anticipate any arrests will be made in connection with the incident.
From Fox News:
A McDonald’s manager says his firing is “not right” after a video surfaced of one of his employees going on a profanity-laced tirade, smashing apart the store.
Manager Brandon Robertson, a five-year employee at the store, tried to calm down employee Lonnie Johnson, but was fired by the company the next day. He is now filing for unemployment benefits.
Johnson, 17, told MyFoxTwinCities.com that he went on a rampage at the McDonald’s in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday, Feb. 7, after not receiving all the money he was due in his paycheck.
"I don't know if I'm going to get it or not, but I just want this whole thing to be behind me," he told MyFoxTwinCities.com. "It's not right."
A St. Paul police spokesman said despite the extensive property damage that Johnson inflicted on the store, they don’t anticipate any arrests.
Johnson’s tirade was captured on a cellphone video by a customer at the store. As of Sunday, it was viewed more than 4 million times.
Courtney Henry, the owner and operator of the Midway McDonald’s where Johnson and Robertson worked, called the situation an “unacceptable employee outburst.”
Robertson said Henry told him that the video indicated that Robertson did not have control over what was going on at the restaurant, MyFoxTwinCities.com reports.
“The well-being and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time,” Henry said in a statement.
From Daily Mail:
A mother of four says her four children will be able to go to college after she won a third of a historic lottery jackpot.
Marie Holmes, 26, from Shallotte, North Carolina, has come forward saying she has one of three winning tickets for the $564.1 million prize, the fifth largest ever in America.
The lucky winner said that she scared her kids, one of whom has cerebral palsy, after she found out she had won and began screaming that they 'didn't have to struggle anymore'.
She used to work at McDonald's and Walmart before quitting to take care of her children.
'They don't have to worry about debt. They can go to college, all on me. And they don't have to worry about nothing,' she said, adding that the money is 'all for them'.
Though the winning ticket has not yet been confirmed, the unemployed mother said that she was heading to Raleigh, North Carolina, to speak with lawyers and financial advisers.
She will then claim the $188million prize for her ticket, which has not yet been verified by lottery authorities.
A spokesman for the North Carolina Education Lottery told the Daily Mail Online that no winning ticket had been presented for the most recent Powerball drawing.
The organization generally tells winners to take their time and get advice before coming in and claiming their money. The ticket holders have 180 days to do so.
Ms Holmes, who only buys lottery tickets 'when she can', said she was thankful that she could bless her kids with something she didn't have.
The mother said that she bought her winning ticket after seeing how large the jackpot had gotten in the recent weeks.
From City Pages:
On Saturday night Brandon Robertson was faced with a full-blown crisis just 15 minutes into his shift as the overnight manager of the Midway McDonald's in St. Paul.
One of his employees, a 17-year-old who Robertson says had been recently kicked out of his house by his mom, launched into a furious tantrum, smashing and shouting his way to viral stardom.
When a cell phone video of the incident was posted yesterday we watched, laughing, or at least morbidly fascinated, as the employee rampaged around unhinged. Robertson did his best to calm the employee, shepherding him toward the door and pointing to the exit, saying, "you need to leave."
"I tried to secure the place," says Robertson. "I couldn't tackle him or put my hands on him. He's a minor. So I did the best I could to settle him down and get him out of there."
McDonald's management disagreed, and Robertson was fired yesterday.
"[Management] felt like I didn't have control of the store," says Robertson. "This story is worldwide now and they're looking at it like if I did something to solve it before it got all over the world they wouldn't be getting all of this attention now. They don't want all of this attention, and they're blaming me."
"We regret the personal dispute that unfolded in our restaurant between two of our employees. The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable and we have taken appropriate action. The well-being of our customers and employees remains McDonald's top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time."
UPDATE 12:35 PM: Henry issued another statement this afternoon:
"We regret the unacceptable employee outburst that happened in our restaurant Saturday and has gone viral leading to much speculation and inaccurate claims. While it is inappropriate to publicly discuss personnel matters, rest assured that we took the appropriate action to address the entire matter and not just what was seen on video.
The well-being and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time. As this is a personnel matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. I am proud of our role in the community as an employer and neighbor, and the opportunities we provide."
Robertson said he had to close the 24-hour store for a half-hour after the tantrum to clean up the mess and painstakingly scrub everything to avoid cross contamination.
"It was just terrible. The whole night was terrible. Then afterward everybody is coming through the drive-thru saying, 'Oohh you guys are gonna make World Star!'"
Robertson still isn't sure what set off his employee. The dispute originally began over a request the employee made to clock out early. Robertson said he told him that was fine, so the meltdown was confusing.
Robertson speculates the employee might've been putting on a show for his friends, who filmed the ordeal, or he might've just reached a boiling point over troubles at home.
Regardless, Robertson, who spent more than four years working for McDonald's, is now looking for a new job to supplement a part-time gig he has at SuperAmerica. He's worried about how the viral video will affect potential employers' perception of him.
"My face is everywhere now. Who's going to hire me? Nobody," he says. "I was doing my job, but I only make $11.75 an hour. Come on now. What was I supposed to do?"