It took longer than it should have for Dunkin’ Donuts to spring into action after what its employees did to a homeless man in upstate New York on Sunday night.
Jeremy Dufresne, who is homeless and mentally ill, stopped into the store to charge his phone and call his mom to say “goodnight.” He does that every night, Syracuse.com says.
That’s when a Dunkin’ worker dumped water on him.
Funny stuff, indeed.
Dunkin’ Donuts employee pours water all over sleeping homeless manShocking moment two cruel Dunkin' Donuts workers laugh and dump a pitcher of WATER on a sleeping homeless manTwo Dunkin' Donuts employees filmed themselves dumping water on a customer.The homeless man Jeremy Youngs Dufresne, 25, fell asleep at a Dunkin' Donuts location in Syracuse, leading the workers to taunt him.An employee yells at him saying 'You want to sleep?' and pours the water as a warning to stop sleeping there.They laughed as he was startled awake and grabbed his phone and charger.The video was shared to Facebook on Sunday where it's gone viral Dufresne is homeless by choice and suffers from schizophreniaA GoFundme page has raised $1,600 for him following the viral videoProtesters gathered at the Dunkin Donuts location in Syracuse on MondayThe two employees in the video have been suspended
Posted by Rudolph Schubert on Monday, October 1, 2018
“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said of the worker. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
The attack was symbolic.
Dufresne suffers from schizophrenia, he and his family said. His struggle with mental illness is not uncommon for someone who is homeless. National data shows that roughly a third of people who are homeless are suffering from some sort of mental illness.
Dufrense said he’s not interested in living inside. He likes to be alone.
“The only time I talk to people is when I talk to my family,” he said.
His mother said oxygen was cut off to Dufresne’s brain when he was born, leaving him with mental and physical struggles. He has epilepsy and a learning disability on top of the schizophrenia, she said.
When Dufresne was 2, his father was in a motorcycle accident that left the man in a coma for 12 years. Dufrense was 14 when his father died at Rosewood Nursing home, his aunt said.
He wanted to be an artist when he grew up.
“I like concept art, scenery,” he said. He preferred pencil to ink or paint.
But he gave up on that dream.
It took a demonstration in front of the franchised store on Monday before the owner got around to firing the assailant and his co-conspirators.
Dunkin Donuts in #Syracuse is new flashpoint on homelessness after video apparently shows store worker dump water on sleeping homeless man to get him to leave.
Photo: Cheryl Neri pic.twitter.com/EQUwJSY71h
— Michael Benny (@MichaelBenny) October 1, 2018
“We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video,” the ownership group said in a statement. “It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization — which include creating a welcoming and hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the young man.
(h/t: Paul Tosto)