After extensive research, I have located details on three cases of
strip searches involving McDonald's employees. Two resulted in
lawsuits and the third just happened, with no charges filed against
McDonald's yet that I can find.
1) 2002 - Roosevelt, Utah
"In May 2002, the Roosevelt working her first day at a McDonald's said
she was strip-searched and forced to jog naked after a bogus theft
accusation from a caller authorities now believe was Stewart claiming
to be a McDonald's executive."
"The woman filed a nine-count civil rights lawsuit in Salt Lake City
in October 2002 seeking a jury trial and unspecified real and punitive
damages from T.J. Goodman Inc., owner of the Roosevelt and Vernal
McDonald's franchises, as well as McDonald's Corp. The woman's
attorney, Robert H. Wilde, said the suit "was resolved" out of court
for an undisclosed amount."
You can access the specific details of this lawsuit through Utah's
U.S. District Court via PACER (Public Access to Court Records) which
allows free registration, but requires payment for download of files.
2) 1999 - Zanesville, Ohio
"McDonald's has been hit by two lawsuits stemming from the crime in recent years."
"In one case three years ago in Zanesville, Ohio, a 35-year-old unit
manager who had strip-searched two female employees--18 and 19 years
old--on what he testified were telephoned instructions from a police
detective, was acquitted recently of misdemeanor charges of unlawful
restraint and sexual imposition."
Further information on the Ohio case from an AP report from the Oct.
20, 2000, edition of the Columbus (OH) Dispatch: "Manager acquitted in
"Scott Winsor a "McDonald's restaurant manager who admitted to
strip-searching two employees was acquitted yesterday on charges of
unlawful restraint and sexual imposition."
"The parents of the women have filed a civil suit against McDonald's
and Winsor for sexual harassment, assault and battery and false
The article has been taken offline, but further quotes are referenced
in this excellent Google Answers response on the strip-search hoaxes
(lots of great information on strip searches at Wendys, Hardees,
Applebees, Taco Bell and other restaurants:
And here's a more recent article on the Zanesville case - following
last month's arrest of the possible perpetrator:
3) 2004 - Mount Washington, Kentucky
"David Stewart, a Florida corrections officer, is now himself behind
bars for a strange deceptive telephone hoax that led to a strip search
and sex at a McDonald's in Mount Washington."
"According to Mount Washington police detective Stump, Stewart phoned
from a pay phone in his hometown of Panama City and claimed he was a
police officer. Stump says Stewart convinced the McDonald?s female
manager to strip-search a female employee under the guise she stole
money from a customer."
(free registration required)
I've been unable to find any information regarding McDonald's response
to the incidents. Several sources (including a March 30, 2004 article
by Stephen Gray in the Wall Street Journal) quote "The National
Restaurant Association, Wendy's, Taco Bell and Applebee's are sending
memos to restaurants telling managers that if they receive suspicious
calls, to ask for the caller's name and telephone number, then hang up
and contact local law-enforcement authorities," but do not mention a
response by McDonalds. Nor have they issued a press release on this
issue (at least not one that is listed on their Web site).
It looks like Wendy's even went so far as to help pay for police work
to apprehend the criminal:
"Rogers said the investigation could not have been done by two small
police departments if it hadn't been for Wendy's International, which
helped pay for investigation expenses of about $15,000. "
mcdonald's suit "strip search"
mcdonald's lawsuit "strip search"
mcdonalds lawsuit "strip search"
"strip search hoax" mcdonalds
Hopefully, this is the information you were looking for. If you're
looking for something more specific that I haven't covered, please let
me know and I'll do my best to provide the answers.
Clarification of Answer by
10 Aug 2004 15:41 PDT
As an update, here are some more specifics on the Utah case mentioned above:
U.S. District Court - District of Utah (Central)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 02-CV-1163
Doe v. TJ Goodman Inc, et al (McDonalds Corporation also mentioned as a defendant)
--charges against defendants include false imprisonment, invasion of
privacy, defamation and negligent training and supervision. It
specifically alleges that McDonalds Corporation had knowledge of
similar prior incidents and neglected to properly notify and/or train
employees to handle a similar situation.
--case was dismissed "with prejudice" on 8/20/03 per a confidential
Request for Answer Clarification by
11 Aug 2004 04:51 PDT
I already have those cases- sorry if I wasn't specific enough- its
just that I have waded through so much already- there is also a case
in Savannah (I have that one as well)and a Complaint was just filed in
the Mt. Washington case this past Monday. I know there were
"incidents" in Indiana, Missori, Mass., etc. I just don't know how to
find them. If you can help more that would be awesome, but as it
stands, I already have the exact same things you have found thus far.
Clarification of Answer by
11 Aug 2004 08:05 PDT
I am so sorry that my answer wasn't what you were looking for. You
didn't specify in your question that you knew of any such cases, or
that you were even specifically looking for victims of this
strip-search hoax, or I probably wouldn't have even attempted to
answer your question. You appear to have done your research well and
may have reached the limits of easily-accessible public information.
To let you know what I did do so that you don't duplicate my efforts,
I spent several hours in the PACER site
(http://www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov) looking for likely cases involving
McDonalds and civil rights/discrimination violations (case types 440
and 442). This requires registration as well as payment for
downloading case files. I dug through quite a bit of them, but was
unable to find any more specific cases for you (although I did find
entirely too many complaints against McDonalds Corp for inappropriate
discrimination and other acts). I also searched local papers in some
of the states where other restaurants were involved such as
Massachusetts, Arizona, South Dakota, North Dakota, Indiana, Utah,
Kentucky and Ohio.
Other than contacting police departments or wading through every court
case filed against McDonald's Corp (assuming that McDonalds is even
named since, in some of the hoax cases, the complaint was only made
against the manager/management company), I'm not sure that you're
going to find any easy answers. A former FBI agent, who worked on the
Terry Nichols case and now operates a PI firm in Wichita, KS, has been
working to document these cases for over a year (he was hired by one
of the fast-food chains) and has only documented about 70 of the hoax
calls from dozens of affected restaurants and stores (not just
McDonald's), using lawsuits, newspaper reports and police. I doubt he
will be able to help you due to confidentiality, but you might try
License Number: D-845
Last Name: JABLONSKI
First Name: DANIEL
Middle Name: L
Doing Business As: JABLONSKI & ASSOCIATES, LLC /DBA
Zip Code: 67278
Date Issued: 09/03/1999
License Expiration Date: 12/31/2004
Best of luck with your research! If I can help you with anything
further, please let me know.
Clarification of Answer by
11 Aug 2004 14:29 PDT
Found a mention of another case involving McDonald's, though I can't
find a record of a lawsuit that came from it:
"In 1999 [Note: actually, the incident took place in December 1998] a
pervert menaced a McDonald's in Milwaukee by calling up the female
manager, pretending to be a police officer, and guiding her by
telephone through a strip search of a male employee, who he said
should be checked out for theft. The caller was never caught, and a
man using a similar modus operandi struck twice in September 2000 at
fast-food restaurants in Bismarck, N.D. In December 2001, yet another
incident occurred at the Arby's in Noblesville, Ind., when a "police
officer" called the female manager and asked her to strip search a
certain female employee while he was on the phone, while asking the
employee impertinent questions, and then later that month, the same
thing happened in Billings, Mont., at a business the Billings Gazette
did not identify. (The Gazette later reported that it had received a
follow-up inquiry from authorities in Charleston, W.Va., as a caller
had struck a restaurant there, too.) [Indianapolis Star, 12-20-01]
[Billings Gazette, 1-5-02, 1-13-02]"
And here's a response (albeit a minor one) by McDonald's on the incident:
"Sullivan [Breda Sullivan, McDonald's regional marketing manager]
would not comment on whether the store manager would be disciplined
for conducting the strip-search. "I really can't answer that
question," Sullivan told a reporter. "We don't have all the facts."
But she said: "That clearly is not an appropriate action. Being the
family business that we are, we would not condone it."
As for further responses by McDonald's, I can't find any. There are no
press releases on the topic on their site. Other sources specifically
mention The National Restaurant Association, Wendy's, Taco Bell and
Applebee's warning their employees about the incidence, but do not
mention such a response from McDonald's. The testimony in the Utah
lawsuit did mention that the McDonald's manager involved in the
incident knew about previous calls, but that McDonald's had not done
anything to properly train employees to handle such situations or to
warn their employees or customers.
I hope this helps. No, we don't have magic sources here, but many
Google Answers researchers (myself included) do pay for access to
subscription sources such as KnowX.com. There is no magic formula,
though. You still have to wade through piles of court documents, and
pay for each one you look at. That's what private investigation is all
about. I am very sorry that I wasn't able to find anything further,
but what I didn't find says something too.