CLARENCE, N.Y. — Paula's Donuts announced it has terminated an employee after an incident at its Clarence location earlier this week.
A video of what happened after that incident went viral on Reddit and other social media platforms, receiving 50,000 upvotes in the r/publicfreakout subsection of Reddit.
In a statement issued on Facebook, Paula's Donuts said:
Due to multiple conflicting stories that we received, we felt it was very important to do our due diligence and investigate all parties in this matter. Less than 48 hours after we were notified of a situation that took place at our Clarence location, our investigation has been completed.
Our investigation led us to the conclusion that our employee did indeed violate our employee handbook and did harass a customer. This has led to the immediate termination of that employee.
We will not accept harassment of ANY KIND from our employees, ESPECIALLY toward our customers, and for this we apologize. We are saddened and dishearten by the situation that took place. We believe every one of our customers has the right to express their values, beliefs and opinions about what they believe.
We have been in business for 24 years and have always loved and supported our community. We will continue to provide a safe, comfortable, and happy atmosphere for our customers and employees. We look forward to seeing you in our shops.
The person who posted the video spoke by phone with 2 On Your Side. He says the incident started after he wore a Black Lives Matter mask into the Paula's Donuts in Clarence.
According to the customer, an employee behind the counter asked him why he wasn't wearing a "White Lives Matter" mask.
The customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells 2 On Your Side he left without getting his order and a man who was inside listening to the exchange began confronting him outside the store.
The video of the exchange with the other customer outside the store is what was posted on Reddit.