I'm not a violent man, insists burger rage man

By Abby Gillies

Photo / Sarah Ivey
Photo / Sarah Ivey

An Auckland man arrested after he flew into a rage when staff got his order wrong, says the incident has not put him off one of his favourite takeaways.

David Ilolahia, 35, of Blockhouse Bay, was charged with threatening behaviour, assaulting police, disorderly behaviour and resisting police following the incident at Wendy's in Lynfield on Friday.

He described the incident as a "communication breakdown kind of thing" that escalated out of control.

The furniture removal worker, who said he was not an aggressive person, said yesterday he was ashamed for abusing staff and police but said the officer who arrested him was unnecessarily aggressive.

"He did fly into an aggressive rage. He didn't give me a chance to comply," he said.

The regular Wendy's customer said the incident would not stop him from returning to Wendy's, although not to the Lynfield store.

"It hasn't changed my taste or appetite, but I'm banned from that store."

About 10.30am on Friday he placed an order at the drivethrough for a Baconator with no bacon, a fish burger, and a Triple Combo.

However, when he picked up his order from the staff member, believed to be a trainee, it was wrong: "They gave me Big Classic, the Baconator was correct and the fish (burger) was chicken".

When he went inside to complain to the manager, "she blew me off", he said.

Ilolahia admitted he quickly lost his temper.

"They weren't polite words. I called her a homosexual and the b-word and a f****** a*******. I had to shout at her, I was that angry."

Staff at the Lynfield store locked themselves in the office to escape the burger-lover's rampage, as he continued shouting and pushed over a screen and a till on the counter.

A police officer attempted to restrain the man and emptied a can of pepper spray into eyes, but it had little effect.

" I could still see - I think he was shocked."

Ilolahia was arrested and a scuffle took place inside the store as the policeman tried to handcuff him, he said.

"He batoned me - he gave me a whack straight across the top of my head, then a second one.

The struggle lasted 10 minutes and spilled out to the restaurant carpark, where other officers eventually restrained and arrested him.

Ilolahia was taken to Auckland City Hospital where he was treated for cuts to his elbows and received 10 stitches to his head.

He said he had "stepped a bit wider than I should," during the incident, but was still in shock at the police officer's reaction.

"It's really hard. You expect to be treated as a public person. I don't know why I was treated like that."

"The customer was a bit upset at his meal," Inspector Gary Allcock said on Friday.

"He went nuts."

Ilolahia is due to appear in Auckland District Court this week.

- Additional reporting New Zealand Herald


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