Waffle House staff ‘used homophobic slur against customer’
A young man has claimed staff at a branch of Waffle House in the US used homophobic slurs against him as an altercation broke out which resulted in him being dramatically arrested by police.
Anthony Wall, 22, was taking his teenage sister home from prom when they stopped at the restaurant in Warsaw, North Carolina, on May 4.
An argument erupted within the diner and police were called.
Footage, which later went viral, showed Wall, an African-American, apparently being choked by a police officer as he was arrested.
He has been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Now, however, his lawyers have said they want to investigate whether Waffle House has a pattern of discrimination based on sexuality or race – claims the restaurant chain denies.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Wall said he was called a “faggot” by staff during the altercation, which apparently started after they tried to sit down at an unmade table.
“These are people who were trying to throw things at me,” he said.
“These are people that threatened me, told me what they were going to do to me and stuff.
“I look at it like, I got arrested for disorderly conduct, why are they not arrested for that… they were out of control at their workplace.”
Waffle House has said it is reviewing whether disciplinary action against any staff members is warranted, NBC News reported.
“The race of Mr Wall and the members of his party had absolutely nothing to do with that employee’s decision to contact the police,” said a spokesperson.
“Waffle House prides itself for a long history of inclusion and is a welcoming place for all.”
The popular restaurant chain has more than 2,000 branches across the US.
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Wall, from Fayetteville, also objected to the way he was handled by police during his arrest.
Video captured by bystanders and shared online showed the confrontation. Wall, dressed in a tuxedo, is heard saying: “Get your hands off of me.”
Yesterday, Wall said: “I was trying to get his arm off my throat to stop him from choking me. “I was not trying to fight him at all.”
Warsaw Police Department is said to have launched an internal investigation.