- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

A teen customer at a McDonald’s in Springdale, Arkansas, is accused of trying to make off with a free cup of soda and allegedly assaulting an employee in the process.

The Springdale Police Department on Wednesday confirmed that Cody Morris 18, faces one count of felony robbery after the manager of a McDonald’s on South Thompson Street accused the teenager of pouring himself a drink without paying.

Authorities said in a statement that the incident started when Mr. Morris and two others ordered three large cups of waters from the McDonald’s drive-thru this week. According to law enforcement, the individuals parked their car after receiving their drinks, then went inside the restaurant and proceeded to pour out the water and allegedly replace it with pop.

“When confronted by employees of the restaurant, two of the subjects allegedly disposed of their drinks as requested by the employees,” Springdale Police said in a statement. When the fast-food workers approached Mr. Morris, however, authorities say he bolted from the eatery and got into the driver’s seat of the car.

As the teenager allegedly attempted a getaway, two McDonald’s employees stood behind the vehicle to prevent him from leaving, police said. He’s accused of attempting to take off anyway, though, and allegedly struck one of the employees while driving in reverse. That employee then attempted to remove the keys from the ignition of the car, according to the report, at which point he was allegedly struck by the suspect.

Police apprehended Mr. Morris shortly after when his vehicle was located at a nearby bowling alley, KHBS/KHOG-TV reported. He was arrested and charged with felony robbery and has been released on a $2,500 bond ahead of a hearing scheduled for Friday morning.

“The theft became a robbery when the alleged suspect allegedly used force to resist apprehension by the store employees,” explained authorities, who noted that Arkansas law does not prevent from workers from attempting to detain criminal suspects.

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