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Ottumwa Burger King owner responds to mom's outrage on social media

Burger King Franchisee Randall Bradley returned KTVO's call Friday morning and said the entire incident was a misunderstanding/Beth Waldon

A Southeast Iowa mom is speaking out on social media this week, after hearing claims of poor customer service at Burger King in Ottumwa.

The mom said in a Facebook post Thursday that her son, with autism, and his caregiver, were asked to leave because the owner said her son was being too disruptive.

“I am wanting to cry, but right now I’m so mad I can’t,” she wrote in the Facebook post Thursday.

The post now has the attention of hundreds of users. KTVO reached out to both the boy's mom, and the restaurant owner Friday.

The owner, Burger King Franchisee Randall Bradley returned KTVO's call Friday morning and said the entire incident was a misunderstanding.

“It bothers me more personally than it does for my business,” Bradley said. “People with disabilities touch a soft spot in my heart."

Bradley told KTVO he has both raised and employed people with special needs; a daughter with Asperger’s syndrome, and an employee with autism.

"It presents its issues at times, and we deal with it,” Bradley said. “Sometimes he needs to go home early and then he comes back the next day to work."

Bradley found himself in a tough spot Thursday.

"A young man was apparently having a really bad day,” Bradley said. “Unfortunately it was a little too disruptive. It reaches a point, where I kind of have to put an end to it. We are running a restaurant business there…I tried to handle it very quietly and diplomatic and I had no desire whatsoever to embarrass anybody. Apparently the story got told to this young man's mother in a different fashion than what actually happened…she was told that I yelled at them, that I had banned their son from the restaurant…none of which is true."

He added that he doesn't blame the boy's mom for being upset.

"I understand totally why she would be so angry,” he said. “If someone had treated my kids like someone said I treated her child, I would've been angry too."

Since Thursday’s incident, Bradley said he has tried to get in touch with the boy’s mother.

"She had told one of my managers she was too angry to speak to me and if that continues, I will respect that,” Bradley said. “I hope that we'll be able to talk so I can reassure her that I have no ill will toward her son and they are most welcome to return."

The boy's mom, whose name will be kept private for the time being, had not responded to KTVO’s Facebook message by the time this article was published.


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