According to People A Houston Jack in the Box employee allegedly shot at a drive-thru customer during a dispute reportedly over curly fries, according to a lawsuit.
On Tuesday, a lawyer for customer Anthony Ramos released footage of the reported incident and it went viral on social media.
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Just-released video shows a Jack-in-the-Box employee shoot at a drive-thru customer, reportedly during an argument over missing curly fries.
According to a lawsuit filed by Houston attorney, Randall Kallinen, Anthony Ramos and his family ordered a combo… pic.twitter.com/iT2T2ngj3F
— D. Scott @eclipsethis2003 (@eclipsethis2003) September 26, 2023
Attorney Randall L. Kallinen filed the lawsuit against the fast-food restaurant and the employee, Alonniea Fantasia Ford, in 2022, reports KTRK.
Kallinen obtained a 23-minute video of the dispute through a discovery request, per KTRK.
“Jack in the Box needs to investigate their prospective employees,” Kallinen told PEOPLE. “As in this example, Ms. Ford had pled guilty to a terroristic threat, and that was a public record in Harris County. Also, the manager should have de-escalated the situation. On the video, it appeared that the manager did not do anything to tell the employee to go back or that they would take care of it, and let the situation escalate.”
The lawsuit follows the March 3, 2021 incident when Florida residents Ramos, his pregnant wife, Jeraldin Ospina, and their 6-year-old daughter ordered two combo meals at the Jack in the Box near Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. They claim they were shot at by the employee.
Ramos picked up his family from the airport when they visited the restaurant. After ordering their meals, they said curly fries were missing. Their request for the missing food reportedly prompted an argument.
Kallinen explained to PEOPLE that as the incident escalated, Ramos then requested the manager, which led Ford to leave the drive-thru window and retrieve her manager.
Ford was seen throwing ice and ketchup packets at the Ramos family. Quickly thereafter, Ford was seen walking away from the window, but once she returned she grabbed a gun from her pocket, according to video footage.
Ford quickly reopened and leaned through the drive-thru window and then allegedly fired shots at the red truck.
Once the Ramos family sped away to safety, they contacted 9-1-1, who dispatched officers to the site. The video purports to show Ford cleaning up, including putting the gun away before law enforcement arrived.
Following the incident, Ramos quit his contract job and returned to Florida.
Prior to her employment at Jack in the Box, Ford was charged and pleaded guilty to terroristic threat in 2012, Kallinen told PEOPLE.
“Jack in the Box needs to do background checks on employees so as not to expose their customers to someone who would attempt to kill them,” Kallinen said in a press release, reported by CBS Austin.
Following the recently revealed information that Ford was previously charged and pleaded guilty, the Ramos family’s attorney said the chain restaurant needs to review its policies on supervision in an effort to keep customers safe.
“They may have a policy, but they have to implement those policies. It’s one thing to have a policy and write something down on a piece of paper, it’s another thing to supervise and to check it apparently, they didn’t do that,” said Kallinen during a press conference, reports NBC-2.
“We’re here today once again to get Jack in the Box, to make their customers safe from people shooting them and killing them,” Kallinen added. “These rage cases are getting out of hand in Houston.”
Ford later told KTRK Tuesday she is “not an angry person” and is “not a mad monster out here. I’m just a woman trying to work for my family.”
She also claimed that the gun did not go off.
The video Kallinen released had no audio, but Houston police found a spent shell casing, according to court documents, reports KTRK. Ford alleges that Ramos called her racial slurs, allegations he denies, reports the outlet.
“A full investigation of the facts by us led the District Attorney’s Office to realize the shortcomings in their case based on facts that have not been reported thus far,” Ford’s criminal defense attorney, Daniel Werlinger, told KTRK.
A Jack in the Box company spokesman also told KTRK:
“While we cannot comment on ongoing litigation, we are aware of the situation involving an employee of one of our independent franchisees and remain focused on providing a safe environment for customers and restaurant workers.”
The lawsuit is claiming assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence by Ford as an employee at Jack in the Box, and negligence by Jack in the Box in hiring Ford.
The family is seeking unspecified damages.
The case is set to go to trial in Houston in November