According to an arrest report, a former Popeyes manager was arrested and charged with first-degree battery and one count of cruelty to children for assaulting an underage worker in Bainbridge, Georgia.
The incident happened on Memorial day when Marquez Smith, 20, was captured on video getting in the face of a 17-year-old female employee after trying to clock out. In the 44-second clip, the teen had a cell phone to her ear while telling Smith, “I don’t care about none of that. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t.”
A Popeyes manager was caught on camera hitting a 16-year-old a girl employee who wanted to clock out. He was later arrested and charged with battery and cruelty to children in the first degree 👀 pic.twitter.com/TppwN35xgO
— No Jumper (@nojumper) June 1, 2022
Moments later, Smith told the young woman to “Get out my face” twice before a male employee attempted to defuse the situation.
The teen repeatedly said, “I don’t, I don’t,” when the 20-year-old slapped her across the face and knocked her phone out of her hand. He then clenched both fists and held them up in a fighting stance, suggesting the two engage in a fight.
“Whatchu gon’ do?” the former manager said as customers watched the altercation unfold. While the young girl didn’t retaliate against him, she held her arm against her face as a shield from Smith. A few male workers escorted Smith towards the restaurant lobby, where multiple bystanders intervened.
He yelled, “Y’all is so disrespectful… Get the f— out my store” before the video ended.
Popeyes corporate took to Twitter on Wednesday and responded to the viral incident.
“We are absolutely horrified, like the rest of the public. The employee responsible for the assault was immediately terminated by the franchisee. We are working with local authorities and the franchisee to ensure the impacted team member has the support she needs to fully recover.”
We are absolutely horrified, like the rest of the public. The employee responsible for the assault was immediately terminated by the franchisee. We are working with local authorities and the franchisee to ensure the impacted team member has the support she needs to fully recover.
— Popeyes (@Popeyes) June 1, 2022
The young girl retained legal representation from Gee & Lee Law Firm in Tallahassee, prompting the firm to release a statement to WALB regarding the assault.
“We are still investigating the events of May 30, 2022. However, it is completely unacceptable for any employee to be subjected to the physical and verbal abuse captured on video, let alone a teenager. A teenage employee should never have to face the cruel and abusive behavior witnessed in that video.”
Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 6, 2022, in Bainbridge, Georgia.