KUALA LUMPUR: A video showing a homeless man being forced to leave a McDonald’s restaurant in the United States has gone viral.
The man was eating at the Myrtle Beach McDonald’s in South Carolina when he was asked to leave by a female police officer who had been called in by the restaurant manager.
He was asked to leave on the grounds that he was trespassing.
It was also alleged that the man was asking people for money.
The video has more than 54 million views online and thousands of comments after it was uploaded by the the man behind the camera, 39-year-old Yossi Gallo.
The video, which is five minutes and 15 seconds long, was uploaded on Feb 28. It has since triggered a flood of negative comments on social media sites.
Gallo was quoted by the press as saying that he had driven to the McDonald’s outlet for a bite around 11am.
He said he had noticed the homeless man near the outlet and asked him whether he was hungry.
Gallo then took him to the fast food outlet to buy food, but an employee at the register told the man he was not getting any.
Gallo said he paid for the man and they sat down at separate tables.
The police officer arrived about five minutes later and told the homeless man that he was trespassing.
At this juncture, Gallo said, he got angry.
“I got really upset,” he told The Sun News, a local news outlet in Myrtle Beach.
In the video clip, Gallo is heard saying loudly that he and a homeless man were being removed from the restaurant because he had bought him a meal.
“I’m getting kicked out of here because I gave a homeless guy food!,” he said in the video.
At one point, Gallo had demanded a refund for the food he had ordered. He was told to leave for causing a ruckus.
After they walked out of the eatery, Gallo offered to buy food for the man elsewhere.
In recalling the incident, Gallo said he was embarrassed as everyone in the McDonald’s outlet was looking at him.
But, he said he had no regrets, though he was surprised the the news had spread so quickly.
He said it showed that there were many caring people.
Gallo also said he had nothing against the police officer.
“I see all these thousands of comments that are very disgusting toward her and I don’t think it’s her problem. I don’t think she did anything wrong,” he said.
It was reported that the city and Myrtle Beach Police department were flooded with phone calls from everywhere.
Forced to step in, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune praised the officer on her conduct and called for viewers to learn all the facts and not overreact.
It should be noted that McDonald’s outlets in the US are owned by McDonald’s Corporation while McDonald’s outlets in Malaysia are run by Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, a locally-owned company.
McDonald’s Corp is the world’s largest fast-food chain.
Viewer discretion is advised.