Homeless man McDonald's: Firm slammed as 'abhorrent' after security guard filmed soaking homeless man's sleeping bag
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McDonalds has been slammed as “abhorrent” after one of its employees was filmed covering a homeless man’s blanket and other belongings in bleach with a mop and bucket. The video taken on Victoria Street in London on Saturday (9 December) shows a security guard from the fast-food restaurant mopping the floor where a homeless man was sitting.
The homeless man was sitting outside a Nationwide bank branch when McDonalds guards asked him to move but after he refused they are said to have become aggressive. In the video, he can be heard saying “leave me alone” while the guard wearing a high visibility jacket kicks his duvet and sleeping bag. Another guard tries to stop someone filming the incident and a member of the public is heard calling the situation “bang out of order”.
One man can be heard saying in the video: “That’s wrong, you know that, you’re covering his sleeping bag, what are you doing? You’ve covered his sleeping bag in water and it’s winter. That is outrageous.”
The homeless man is Aaron McCarthy, 25, from Limerick, Ireland, who has lived in London since he was 10-months-old and has been living in Victoria for the past few years. Mr McCarthy told The Telegraph he is forced to sleep on the streets because the nearby hostels cost between £60 and £80 per night which is unaffordable. The Met Police said it was aware of the video and enquiries are ongoing.
Streets Kitchen, a grassroots group working to help the homeless community, said on X, formerly Twitter: “Abhorrent & inhumane treatment by @McDonaldsUK. We demand they issue an immediate apology and compensate the individual adequately. Does @CityWestminster condemn such actions carried out in their borough?”.
McDonald’s said it was “shocked and saddened” by the footage in which the guard interferes with McCarthy. The firm posted on X: “We are shocked and saddened by this incident. The third party security guards involved have been permanently removed from our restaurants and the restaurant team has been reminded of the importance of treating all people with respect, including vulnerable people both in the restaurant and within the wider community. We would like to wholeheartedly apologise to the gentleman in the video and will work with the council to locate him and make amends as part of our ongoing work to support homelessness charities in & around the area.”