Man claims language dispute led to altercation in Tim Hortons; owner sees it differently
Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:41PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 17, 2014 11:29AM EDT
A Montreal man says he was in an altercation on the premises of a Tim Hortons restaurant after an employee refused to serve him in English, but the owner sees it differently.
Ron Yaz, a regular customer of the popular coffee shop, said he is boycotting Tim Horton’s after the incident just over a week ago.
“I asked the (server) for 12 doughnuts and six muffins and she looked at me like I was totally crazy,” said Yaz, who claims the server at a Laval franchise refused to speak to him in English.
“She walked to the back of the store, got someone who came up, said two words in English and then said 'maudit anglais,' which I didn’t appreciate very much,” he said.
He said he then got into an argument with two French-speaking customers.
“He pulled something out of his pocket, picked it up. It was a nightstick. He went to hit me over the head with it, I put my arm up, blocked it, he hit me in the arm, took off,” said Yaz.
An ambulance and police were called to the scene and Yaz filed a report.
Restaurant owner says Yaz was served in English
The owner of that Tim Hortons, however, said things happened very differently.
“It's not true that we don't serve Anglophones,” said the owner, who would only provide his first name, Peter.
He claims the employee who served Yaz did speak in English.
“He knows the girl. She doesn’t speak very well in English and instead of, you know, understanding the person, he was insulting and harassing the employee and she start to cry,” he said.
He also claims he went through security footage and there was no attack on Yaz inside.
“He was making a noise inside the store and after, what happened outside, we don't know about it,” he said.
Michelle Robichaud from Tim Hortons head office issued the following statement:
"We are currently investigating this very serious matter. In Quebec, we endeavour to serve our guests in their preferred official language whenever possible as it is important to us to treat each of our guests with dignity and respect."
Yaz decided it wasn’t worth it to file an official complaint because of what police asked him.
“They said to me, 'Well, why didn’t you talk to the girl in French? It would have stopped all this nonsense.' and I said because I'm English. I'm not French. I just want to be served in my language,” said Yaz, who, regardless, is sticking to his story.