By Jeffry Scott
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/09/07
Sometimes a restaurant screws up a dish with too much of this or too little of that.
The customer complains and maybe gets a refund.
Less frequently, the cook gets jail time.
That’s what happened early Friday morning in Union City, a small town in the southern suburbs of Atlanta. A McDonald’s worker put too much salt on a Big N’ Tasty burger that was served to a Union City police officer who got sick and was briefly hospitalized.
The worker, Kendra Bull, 20, was arrested, handcuffed, charged with reckless conduct at 1:30 a.m. and spent the rest of the night in lock-up. Later Friday morning, after a court hearing, she was released on $1,000 bond.
Saturday, Bull, the mother of a 1-year-old, said she accidentally spilled too much salt on the burger and was unjustly charged.
“I think they went too far with it,” said Bull, who has worked at the McDonald’s on Jonesboro Road for about five months. “If it was too salty, why did [the officer] not just take one bite and throw it away? Why did he take eight bites and finish it and come back later and say it made him sick?”
She said she told her supervisor and another co-worker she spilled the salt on the burger. “They tried to thump the salt off,” she said.
Then she went on break and ate a burger made from the oversalted meat. “It didn’t make me sick,” she said.
Meanwhile, the restaurant went ahead and served the extra salty Big N’ Tasty to the police officer, said Bull. A few minutes later the officer, Wendell Adams returned to the restaurant and told the manager he got sick from eating the burger.
He talked to the restaurant’s manager, another employee and Bull, who admitted she spilled the salt on the burger. Bull said the officer asked her to step outside, where he continued to question her. “He told me it made him so sick it had to have something worse than salt on it,” said Bull.
“He asked me if I had ever had a bad experience with cops. Did I know it was a police officer that came through the drive-through? A whole lot of nonsense like that.”
Bull said she didn’t know a police officer had ordered the burger because in the area where she worked, she couldn’t see out the drive-through window.
She said she told Adams her supervisor knew there was too much salt on the burger, but the supervisor didn’t come to her defense.
“[The supervisor] was just trying to cover herself,” said Bull, who said Saturday afternoon she didn’t know if she still had a job under the golden arches: “I’m waiting to hear from my supervisor.”
A call to the restaurant seeking comment was not returned. Adams could not be reached for comment.
Union City Police public information officer George Louth said Saturday that police talked to Bull and other store employees who told them Bull knew the burger “wasn’t properly prepared.” He said she was charged with the misdemeanor reckless conduct because she served it anyway “without regards to the well-being of anyone who might consume it.”
The department is still investigating the case. Since the officer didn’t eat the entire Big N’ Tasty, there were samples to send to the state crime lab to find out what was in or on the burger that made Adams sick.
Bull, meanwhile, said she was hiring an attorney as she awaits her day in court.
After that, she said, “I think I’m going back to Texas.”