Offender tells police bad service led to assault on fast food staff
An irate customer threw a flurry of punches at two Burger King employees after he felt he had been unfairly treated during a visit to the fast food restaurant.
On April 13 about 8.55pm, Dale Clive Sargent was asked to leave New Plymouth's Burger King by two staff members.
The summary of facts outlined how Sargent was known to the staff as a person who had a history of "loitering" around the restaurant.
After the 24-year-old was approached by two staff members - the store manager and a shift manager - he was asked to leave but refused.
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As the store manager tried to explain the situation, Sargent lashed out and punched him once to the middle of the chest.
The store manager then pushed Sargent towards the exit in an effort to get him to leave.
Sargent then threw another punch directed at the victim's head, which he managed to dodge.
A third punch was delivered by the defendant, striking the store manager's forearm, which he raised to protect his face.
At this point, the shift manager stepped in to help his workmate but Sargent swiftly snuffed out his efforts by punching him to the left side of the face.
"This punch was hard and had enough force to spin the victim around," the summary of facts stated.
After the assaults, Sargent fled the Leach St restaurant on foot.
The store manager was not injured but the shift manager sought medical treatment for an injury to his jaw.
Police spoke to Sargent the day after the assaults and he told them he had "never been treated in such a manner before and got angry."
Last Thursday, Sargent pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault during an appearance in the New Plymouth District Court.
Lawyer Nina Laird said the offending was out of character for Sargent, who had no history of violence.
"This was a somewhat bizarre incident," she said.
Laird said Sargent had reacted to what he considered to his unfair treatment at the hands of the Burger King staff members, something he now regretted.
Judge Chris Sygrove convicted Sargent and ordered him to complete 60 hours of community work.
Sargent had yet to plea to a new charge of intimidation and is due to re-appear in court on June 29.