Primetime Live

Season 3 Episode 804

Primetime Live Restaurant Shift Turns Into Nightmare

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 10, 2005 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Primetime Live Restaurant Shift Turns Into Nightmare
Louise Ogborn was willing to take extra shifts at McDonald's in Mount Washington, Ky. The 18 -year-old did whatever she could to help her disabled mom make ends meet. In April 2004, she never expected the nightmare that would last more than 3 hours in the back room at work, with a stranger on the telephone using other employees to terrorize and molest her.moreless

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  • 18 year old girl is randomly selected to be victimized by a nameless, faceless voice on the phone to the fast food restaurant she works. Perhaps more disturbing is that her female supervisor so readily acts as the tool of abusemoreless

    The young girl volunteered to work the night shift, needing extra money to contribute to her disabled mom and the household. She's sweet, innocent, pretty and has been taught to trust the adults around her. This includes her older, woman supervisor, an assistant manager, at the fast food place she works. To see this young girl, you'd think she'd be your own daughter's perfect best friend, your own kids' favorite babysitter, probably volunteering with local animal shelters. She is all cotton candy and pink fuzzies.

    To see the manager you might recall the first boss you didn't much care for. The one who was so full of themselves and such a blowhard that it was obvious they needed to bark orders in order to feel they counted. Probably not very well educated, going to be stuck in this position for the rest of their lives, always lording over teens in their first jobs, the first thing they learn is to never take responsibility for anything that goes wrong; always have a scapegoat and in this woman's case, keep a lawyer on speed-dial.

    As Dateline investigates this story, which played out in April 2004, the bulk of the interview early on is the fast food manager with her lawyer off camera, making sure she doesn't say much more than, "I thought it was the police" (the voice on the other end of the phone).

    Dateline simply Googled the subject matter and found that more than 70 fast food restaurants around the country reported similar, if not the same, incidents.

    The female manager, phone in hand, ordered the young girl to strip in order to find a customer’s reportedly stolen purse. The fact that the manager did this is indescribable, but that the 18 year old girl complied, well, that’s what really knocked me for a loop! Obviously the teen needed the money and didn’t want to jeopardize her job, plus she felt once it was apparent there was no purse hidden in her clothes, an apology would be forthcoming and the incident over. Instead, the voice on the phone continues the manipulation and abuse, even having the manager bring in other people, such as her own fiancé’, to turn it into a more serious molestation.

    There was another co-worker, a young man, who upon seeing what’s going on and asked to participate by “watching” the girl, who is now a prisoner in the tiny, back room office, absolutely refuses to be a part of it and leaves. I wanted to call him AND his mother and say “thank you” (her for raising him right). The abuse, the terrorism and molestation continues for over three hours, orchestrated by the voice on the phone, still claiming to be a police officer. Three hours.

    The teen is mortified, scared to death and humiliated. She sits there wrapped only in a filthy apron, barely covering her, her clothes in a garbage bag, withheld from her.

    Only when an older maintenance man is finally called in to “watch her”, does it come to an end as he refuses and calls the REAL police, who are, by the way, within a mile of this building. One would think the manager would at least suspect something after they didn’t show up within 5 minutes of supposedly being on the phone.

    The caller is eventually tracked down, caught and brought up on charges; the manager’s fiancé’ faces up to (over) 30 years in prison for sexual assault/molestation; the manager, is dismissed from her position and the question everyone still asks is how stupid can some people be and still breathe? When a young co-worker takes a stand, walks out and refuses to participate, surely that would be a motivating factor to at least give it some thought. It seemed questionable that the fiancé’ would come in (he didn’t work there) and participate without being in on it to some degree.

    Primetime Live continues to dig out the disturbing and talk about those things no one wants to talk about. An uncomfortable look at ourselves sometimes, but necessary nonetheless. In most cases, information leads to intelligence, but we have to make that choice, to use what we know and act on what we feel.


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