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McDonald's manager fired after striking customer

7:30 PM, Jul 22, 2011   |    comments
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  • McDonald's surveillance video showing off duty manager Tiffany Allen being restrained by co-workers (on left) while Jennifer Schwenker, twin sons and service dog, Barkley, pass by (on right).
  • Mike and Jennifer Schwenker with their twin sons, Ben and Sam, in a 2008 11 Alive story on autism.
    

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Marietta Police say a manager of the McDonald's restaurant on Bells Ferry Road is accused of slapping a mother after she brought her autistic twin sons and a service dog inside the restaurant.

A warrant charges Tiffany Denise Allen with assault, simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Jennifer Schwenker told police she entered the McDonald's with her twins and service dog last week, and that Allen, who was off-duty at the time, became irate the dog was inside.

Schwenker said even though she told Allen the dog was specially trained to help lookout for her young sons, she said Allen followed her around the restaurant, even into the bathroom.

Schwenker said she accidentally dropped her soft drink when she thought one of her sons had vanished.

Surveillance video provided to Marietta Police by the McDonald's shows the beverage spraying several people, including off duty manager Allen who then chased Schwenker into the parking lot where she allegedly slapped her.

Schwenker went back inside and found her missing son near the restrooms, but the video also clearly shows several co-workers restraining Allen from any more contact.

Through a family friend, Schwenker said she is still too distraught to be interviewed about the incident.

The owners of the McDonald's, franchisees J.M. and Jan Owens released a statement on Friday:

At our McDonald's restaurant, we respect and value our customers. Their safety and well-being is always a top priority.

We strive to comply with all applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is our policy to make our restaurants accessible to all customers, including those with disabilities and special needs, whether or not they need the assistance of service animals.

We are fully cooperating with the police department in their investigation, and the individual involved is no longer employed by our company.

Beyond that, it would be inappropriate to comment further on a pending police matter.

11Alive News reached former manager Tiffany Allen by phone Friday, but she said she had no comment until she talked to her lawyer.

She did say she thought the warrant against her amounted to "false charges".

11Alive News profiled Schwenker and her sons in a 2008 story about children with autism.

She has also been a regular contributor to our MomsLikeMe.com website.

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