Austin Addison is the Pennsylvania man facing minor charges after he was accused of slapping a Burger King worker across the face. The incident was recorded and the video has circulated widely on social media, prompting speculation about what started the incident.
Video of the confrontation went viral in early August, but court records show the incident occurred in late June. Heavy reached out to the Butler Township Police for a copy of the arrest report and will update this post when more information is available.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Austin Addison Threatened to Have a Burger King Worker ‘Put in Jail For the Rest of Her Life’
The video that has gone viral on Twitter picks up late into the confrontation at the Burger King. In the clip, the man now identified as Addison is leaning forward across the counter facing a male worker. Addison has one arm raised and is pointing it at someone else behind the counter.
Addison yells in the face of the employee at the counter, throws what looks like a menu into the air and shoves another piece of paper across the counter. He takes one step back before leaning in and pointing again. “She needs to get the f*** out here before I get her put in jail for the rest of her life,” he yells.
The Burger King worker replies, “Sir, you are on camera right now.” As he finishes that statement, Addison slaps him across the face with his left hand. The slap knocks the worker’s glasses off his face. Addison then walks out of the restaurant.
The clip is only about 13 seconds, and it’s unclear what happened beforehand to prompt the yelling and the slap. TMZ, citing a witness, reported Addison appeared angry when he entered the restaurant and that he was looking for a female worker he knew.
Despite some reports, the video does not include any racial language, and the girl or woman Addison was referencing was not seen on-camera. As the video spread on social media, viewers speculated that the incident had a racial component. Fox News included in a headline that the slap happened after an “alleged racist rant.” Heavy has not yet verified whether investigators believe race was a factor. We reached out to both the Butler Township Police and the Butler County District Attorney’s Office to request the arrest report.
2. Addison Faces Charges Including Criminal Mischief & Harassment
Addison faces minor charges related to the Burger King incident. According to records available from the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, the charges include:
- Criminal mischief
- Disorderly conduct
The criminal mischief charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, which in Pennsylvania carries a possible punishment of up to two years behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted.
The other two charges are listed as summary offenses, which typically result in fines of no more than $300 if convicted. According to the state’s legal code, a person “is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he: creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”
As for the harassment charge, court documents show the statute Addison faces is “Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact.” It is described in the state’s legal code:
A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person:
(1) strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same
3. Police Filed a Complaint Nearly 2 Weeks After the Burger King Incident & Addison Was Arrested July 30
Court documents available on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website show the incident at Burger King happened on June 26. A complaint was filed on July 8, and Addison was arrested on July 30. Records show he was released on his own recognizance, meaning he did not need to pay bail or post bond.
The Butler County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. Records show Addison declined a public defender but a private attorney was not listed on the docket sheet.
The case was transferred from a Magisterial District Court to the Butler County Court of Common Pleas on August 3. Addison’s arraignment hearing was scheduled for September 22.
4. Addison Previously Worked at a Hardware Store
Austin Addison, supposedly fired from Harbor Freight. pic.twitter.com/18SCSy9KFp
— Matt (@YetiMatt) August 3, 2020
Addison has either suspended or deleted his social media accounts. But screenshots from his Facebook page have circulated online. The biographical information lists a job as a cashier at Harbor Freight Tools.
A corporate spokesperson for Harbor Freight Tools confirmed to Heavy via email that Addison previously worked for the company. He was not employed there at the time of the Burger King incident, the spokesperson said, and therefore the slapping incident was not a factor in his employment status.
It was not clear whether Addison was terminated or if he voluntarily left the business. The spokesperson added, “We do not comment further on circumstances as a matter of company policy – it is not specific to this case.”
5. Addison Was Part of a Junior ROTC Program, According to His Facebook Page
According to screenshots of Addison’s Facebook account, he was previously part of the Army Junior ROTC, which is a high school program. Addison wrote that he was a staff sergeant in the program.
According to court documents, Addison lives in Lyndora, which is a census-designated community in Butler County. A search of online records suggests Addison lives with his mother.