Popeyes Customer Is ‘Stabbed to Death in an Argument over the Chicken Sandwich While Waiting in Line’
Lauren Fruen and Leah Simpson, Daily Mail, Novembver 4, 2019
A Popeyes customer has been stabbed to death over the restocked chicken sandwich during nationwide chaos over its return to the menu.
The incident happened at a branch of the fast food chain in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Monday night and was sparked by someone cutting in line, according to police.
Pictures from the scene show a poster for the popular sandwich in the window of the taped off restaurant.
Fast food fans have been seen desperately trying to get their hands on the burger after it returned to restaurants across the country on Sunday.
An eyewitness described how a ‘dude cut the line’ before they ‘went outside’ and ‘dude got stabbed’, adding: ‘And now we can’t leave because they have to make sure there is no blood on the road.’
Police have confirmed a 28-year-old adult male, found with multiple stab wounds in the parking lot, died during a fight at the scene. They are still hunting the suspect.
Police spokesperson Jennifer Donelan said: ‘Our homicide detectives are hard at work on this one, but we have been able to determine preliminarily that this is related to the release of the sandwich here at this restaurant.’
A representative of Popeyes told DailyMail.com: ‘We are very sad to hear about the tragedy in Maryland tonight.
‘We do not yet know whether this was the result of a dispute over one of our products or something unrelated, but there is no reason for someone to lose their life on a Monday night in a parking lot.
‘Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends and we are fully cooperating with local authorities.’
Police say they were called to the scene at around 7pm. They say the victim was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Videos had already shown a man being leaping out of his vehicle to punch another, staff spilling out of a branch as they fight, and even altercations once customers made it inside the restaurants.
A clip captioned, ‘welcome to Ellenton Popeyes’ shows the moment a customer waiting to make their order walks up to a man at the service window and pounds impatiently on his vehicle.
The driver then leaps from the SUV and the pair roll around fighting before others stop them and one yells ‘f**k you a**hole!’.
One man at a crowded Harlem, New York location screamed at staff because he felt they were taking to long for his order of 10 sandwiches.
But a video from Edgewood, Maryland also shows a physical altercation between several hangry people inside that location, including one seemingly armed with long stick.
While some were willing to wait patiently, it seemed staff at a Tallahassee, Florida branch couldn’t hold it together and turned against each other as they dealt with the demand.
‘Lord what in the sandwich is going on y’all,’ one Twitter user posted a clip of six people in orange t-shirts spilling out the location. ‘Got the workers turning against each other now.’
It appeared customers helped try to break up the fight.
‘The safety and health of our employees and patrons is always our priority,’ Popeyes told DailyMail.com in a statement Monday. ‘Restaurant managers have specific protocols they follow to ensure the health and safety of each employee and guest. Most Popeyes restaurants are franchised, and employment matters are handled by the franchisees.’
In another example of determination, a customer whose car had broken down in Union Park, Florida was not dissuaded from getting in on the chicken sandwich action. He was seen pushing the motor through a drive-thru route.
After being out of stock in recent months, the item returned to menus on National Sandwich Day, sparking chaos as desperate customers battled to get hold of the savory treat.
The $3.99 meal, which comes in classic and spicy, debuted for the first time in August and was met with a frantic craze that led to long lines and fist fights at several restaurants. The sandwich sold out in a matter of just two weeks.
The fast-food joint announced the the crispy chicken was back on the menu on Sunday tweeting: ‘This is not a drill… We’re fully stocked.’
After two months of waiting for Popeyes’ highly-popular chicken sandwich to return, fans started to line up for the sandwich before stores opened at 10am.
On Sunday the lines began before restaurant doors even opened and social media users were quick to share videos and photos of the craze.
A line even blocked up a lane on La Brea in Los Angeles.
‘The cars to the left are all in line for a Popeyes chicken sandwich. Ain’t no way in ….. it ain’t that good lol,’ he laughed about the traffic jam.
One man shared a video of a line outside a Popeyes in Savannah, Georgia going out the parking lot and wrapping around the street. Another man shared a similar scene where the line stretched along a highway in Orlando, Florida.
‘There was 30+ cars backed up waiting to turn right into Popeyes and another 20 backed up in the turn lane waiting to turn left,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘9.39…Popeyes don’t open til 10 but we ready,’ another user shared showing a picture of a line of customers standing in a line outside the restaurant.
The Popeyes sandwich was a part of a ‘Chicken Wars’ between several fast food restaurants – including Chick-fil-A which is notably closed on Sundays – fighting for the best chicken sandwich.
The summer craze saw customers become outraged as the sandwich quickly sold out in locations across the nation, sparking fights between costumers and Popeyes costumers.
In one August viral video incident at an unknown location an irate Popeyes customer jumped through a drive-thru window to fight with three employees, angry that there were no more chicken sandwiches left at that location.
Another furious brawl broke out in Brooklyn in August when customers stood in line for an hour and were outraged to learn that the chain ran out. An argument escalated to the point where a Popeye’s employee was injured.
But the fast food joint said they were prepared to meet the demand this time around. and had increased staff across franchisees.
Popeyes said a day after the restock that the response has been ‘extraordinary and unprecedented’.
‘We don’t disclose specific information on sales, but the response to our new Chicken Sandwich has been truly extraordinary and unprecedented!,’ a Popeyes rep told DailyMail.com Monday. ‘We are very excited and humbled to see once again our fans coming out to our restaurants to enjoy the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.
‘Since the launch we’ve worked hard to make sure we have all of the amazing ingredients ready to bring the sandwich back to stores as a permanent addition to our menu.’