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A SIDE ORDER OF HATE

Applebee’s Employee Says He Was Gay-Bashed By Co-Worker’s Husband, Then Fired Due To Bad Publicity

applebees-bashingA gay employee at a Wisconsin Applebee’s claims he was brutally attacked by the husband of a co-worker only to be told that he would no longer be welcome at work.

According to Timothy Phares (right) of Rice Lake, he and his sister were getting out of their car outside a Perkins restaurant on March 17, when coworker Shannon Hendricks and her husband, Rien, pulled up behind them in an SUV.

“[Rien] was getting out of his vehicle, and he said, ‘Fucking faggot, I’m going to kill you,’” Phares told the Wisconsin Gazette.

Mr. Hendricks reportedly struck Phares with a wooden two-by-four. In a written statement, Phares’ sister said she heard her his head hit the pavement.

The victim lost consciousness and doesn’t remember anything until waking up in the hospital. He suffered head and facial abrasions as well as multiple facial fractures that he says will ultimately require surgery to implant metal plates.

Rien Hendricks was taken into custody and charged with substantial battery, a Class 1 felony. Phares said the assault is not being prosecuted as a hate crime despite the homophobic slur both he and his sister reported hearing.

Phares doesn’t know what prompted the attack, though a local source tells the Gazette his “behavior” had something to do with it: A few days earlier, Phares was treated abusively by a customer who made several derogatory and anti-gay comments. Following company policy, he asked manager Tara Steinberg to assign someone else to the table.

The customer apparently called the next day and threatened never to come back unless Phares was fired. Steinberg said she would write him up, leading Phares to put in his two-weeks notice, which he later rescinded. After the attack by Hendricks, however, Steinberg said the restaurant didn’t want Phares back due to the amount of negative publicity the attack had attracted. (Shannon Hendricks has not only retained her position at Applebee’s, but has not been charged with her role in the attack.)

Greg Flynn, CEO of Apple American Group franchise, intervened and got Phares reinstated. Still, Phares doesn’t feel safe on the job as the husband of another co-worker threatened to kill him if he returned to Applebee’s.

Phares was also disappointed when Applebee’s—which has a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and provides domestic partnership benefits—initially refused to remove homophobic comments from its Facebook page.

Since the Gazette story was published, the slurs have been taken down.

 

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Apr 1, 2013
Tagged: , , ,
  • 28 Comments
    • Ron Jackson
      Ron Jackson

      This is a rather convoluted tale. I suppose there is a lot more to it than what is in the article. I hope things work out for Mr. Phares.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 8:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DOFEK
      DOFEK

      WHERE IS THE GAY MAFIA, WHEN YOU NEED THEM?.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuMaurier
      DuMaurier

      @Ron Jackson: “Convoluted” pretty well describes it. My sympathy is with anyone who is injured, but the story reads like a connect-the-dots with a bunch of dots randomly erased.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian Kimberly
      Adrian Kimberly

      All the more reason to avoid Appleby’s like the food-plague it is. What is it about some folks who have so little self-respect they’d even consider eating at crappy places like this? I also include Red Robin, that “Italian” Garden hell-hole, and so many other conveyor belts of mediocre foodstuffs made of sugar, salt and fat. And, from many news sources, patrons and employees are made powder-kegs of violence in them. EAT LOCALLY at locally-owned restaurants and help your community!

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bmwblonde
      bmwblonde

      Wow. You guys have spent WAY too much time texting — such that you can no longer read normal English sentences. Yes, the STORY itself was “convoluted” — meaning: involved and having numerous interlocking details. The writing just told that story. I had no trouble reading and comprehending the story at all.

      But then, it’s not a “text” ( I M N an L-E-vatr whee) or a video game (bang bang, shoot shoot). The story has – you know – a plot and ideas that require digesting. Sadly (for them), all too many people < 40 have unwittingly (pun intended) allowed themselves to be majorly dumbed down. Too bad for them that life is holographic, complex and Technicolor, whereas texting and the internet are 2D black and white. (ZZZZZ) So, I suggest you start READING BOOKS – and recover your intrinsic ability to digest complex concepts. I mean this kindly, because real life IS a banquet.

      Regarding Applebees – I'm for a total boycott. Their performance is sub-standard and sub-human. (Though not surprising, since there are so many pathologically insecure straight Neanderthal males out there, dragging their knuckles along the pavement.)

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DBBromberg
      DBBromberg

      This kind of thing happens all the time, I was thrown out of a local Safeway because I am the kind of person that talks to people, jokes with people as I got thru the store some 3 months after I moved into the area some 20 something girl desided I should not be doing this and told the manager what I was doing was harrassment. I was threatened by two male employees who did not have the balls to back it up when I laughted at them. Later after filing a complaint with the company, on their website was again threatened by the district manager who again was all talk.

      It has been some 3 going on 4 months and nothing, typical fascist corporate america.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken
      Ken

      A boycott is in order. If the store is owned and operated by the corporation, then the boycott should be against the entire chain. If the store is a franchise, the boycott should be against that one store only, because the others, being independent businesses, would be innocent.

      A one-store boycott would be best. It’s the management of that one store that’s a problem, and it’s easier to orchestrate an effective local boycott than a national one anyway. Only an effective boycott conveys a message.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donald Hull
      Donald Hull

      I don’t even like mentioning the name of the dump…as, a few years ago, the restaraunt located in Saint Joseph, MO wouldn’t seat our party when it included my ‘Special Needs’ brother. (While we had eaten at the restaurant a few times with no problem…as soon as we brought my ‘Special Needs’ brother with us, they emptied the waiting room THREE TIMES without seating us. When I asked if there was a problem, they coldly advised us to ‘just wait our turn’. When the waiting area almost emptied a FOURTH TIME, we decided they didn’t deserve our patronage). We also avoid the ‘Italian dump’ and the ‘Chic-a dump’… The BEST WAY to ‘send the message’ is to STOP GIVING THEM ANY MONEY. There are far too many GREAT places to eat to let these dumps get away with such vile behavior.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • toren123
      toren123

      Applebee’s is a no go, food-wise, although I agree with the comment that the local should be targeted rather than the entire chain. But Applebee’s controls the franchise from the top, and it is from the top that the local will be hurt the most. A simple “cease and desist” order from the CEO will hurt local management, and staff firing for any continued discriminatory activity will hit where it hurts the most. I wonder, however, how unprovoked assault with a 2×4 can in this case be anything but a hate crime.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DBBromberg
      DBBromberg

      Since not all of this posted the first time and I do not see how to edit my post I will just repost it, sorry everyone.

      This kind of thing happens all the time, I was thrown out of a local Safeway because I am the kind of person that talks to people, jokes with people as I got thru the store some 3 months after I moved into the area some 20 something girl desided I should not be doing this and told the manager what I was doing was harrassment. I was threatened by two male employees who did not have the balls to back it up when I laughted at them. Later after filing a complaint with the company, on their website was again threatened by the district manager who again was all talk.

      It has been some 3 going on 4 months and nothing, typical fascist corporate america.

      I come from the leather community, I workout, I stand up for myself, the hillbillies that like to gay bash fear me. There are things out there mace, batons, firearms, small video cameras to record these things People stop being a victim, start working out, grow a pair and stop being victims, start fighting back!!!

      Apr 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fenix
      Fenix

      All of you are seeing past the true story here in order to condemn one another over the semantics of the events. The important thing to think of here is that this poor man has been assaulted and neither the official that are supposed to protect and serve us all nor the company that claims to have an “anti-discrimination” policy have done anything to express true concern. Granted, Mr. Flynn of Apple American Group did the right thing in having him reinstated, but still dropped the ball where it truly mattered, and that was placing consequences on the people who actually did something wrong.

      Now, I do not claim to know all of the details of the events but from what is written here and in the more in-depth article in the Wisconsin Gazette ( http://www.wisconsingazette.com/wisconsin-gaze/applebees-employee-gay-bashed-by-husband-of-co-worker-says-he-was-told-not-to-return-to-work-due-to-bad-publicity.html ) , there are no excuses for the actions of these people. First off, no matter what the argument, feelings toward someone’s sexuality or who that person is, should never be met with violence. Secondly, the local law enforcement agency and subsequent court system truly dropped the ball. Not only is Mr. Hendricks not being charged with a hate crime (which in the state of Wisconsin would double the penalties inflicted), nor his wife charged with being an accomplice to the attack that she was very much a party to, but the attacker (who has prior convictions of bail jumping) is free on the streets. Lastly, Applebee’s itself has dropped the ball by not reprimanding Mrs. Hendricks for her involvement nor Steinberg’s bigoted decision to terminate an employee who has been wronged.

      I have both personally been a victim to and a witness of very horrific hate crimes based on sexual orientation, as well as discrimination as a server in the workplace, and can very definitively say that I would not feel safe working in an environment where my attackers were allowed to come and go as they pleased. If this is allowed to continue in its present state then my fear is that it becomes a beacon to those close minded people out there who may feel that they can participate in similar events and come out the better. This is truly a sad state and my heart is truly with you Timothy Phares.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Ken: said…

      “A one-store boycott would be best. It’s the management of that one store that’s a problem, and it’s easier to orchestrate an effective local boycott than a national one anyway.”
      ________________-

      It is VERY rare that any Applebees is owned by one person. Normally in a chain like that a corporation will own 15-40 of the restaurants.

      Additionally, if bad publicity effects the national chain they are much more likely to force the owners of that particular franchise to act.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerty1958
      queerty1958

      Info for theco-worker and her bashing husband:

      Shannon Hendricks & Rien L Hendricks
      527 PHIPPS AVE
      Rice Lake, Wisconsin 54868
      Phone: (715) 736-0315 – number not in service

      Workplace:
      MEYERS HEATING AND AC
      413 N MAIN ST Rice Lake, Wisconsin, United States
      Phone: (715) 234-4587

      Apr 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles175
      Charles175

      As we continue to gain more equalities, the anger against us (rooted in Fundamentalism) will continue to get worse. In this fact, everyone of us should always be aware and alert.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuMaurier
      DuMaurier

      @bmwblonde: I can’t speak for Ron Jackson, but my point was that this incident sounds like it happened after an ongoing buildup of personal stuff between all of the parties that finally blew up. That the article can only hint at this without fleshing it out isn’t the writer’s fault (he can only go with what he has), but for example, it’s suggested that a relevant factor might have been Phares’ treatment by a homophobic customer the day before the alleged attack, but then doesn’t provide even a hypothetical link between that and the guy accused of attacking Phares–not to mention the husband of ANOTHER co-worker who is alleged to be threatening him?

      I’m going to have to stick to my original point that the story throws out a lot of stuff that might very well be linked in some way, but which we are not given the context or background to judge.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sohobod
      Sohobod

      @DBBromberg

      Genius!

      Apr 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      There are mentally unstable fundies who think they have a divine right to attack gay and allied people. Make certain to protect yourself. You have 2nd Amendment rights, too. And if people are making threats at you be certain to report that as well because most state hate crimes laws cover threats, harassment, etc. Most state laws also protect those who are attacked, threatened, etc. because they are a friend or family of someone who is gay, bi, straight, jewish, hindu, black, latino, white, etc.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MuscleModelBlog.com
      MuscleModelBlog.com

      How horrible. There definitely enough evidence to make this a hate crime, so I have no idea why it is not being pursued as such. Nobody gets hits in the face like that unless it is out of hate. Although I think that more details about the story are needed, a boycott may be in order…

      Apr 1, 2013 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Musk
      Musk

      I’d sure like to hear Applebee’s take on this.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      @Adrian Kimberly: “EAT LOCALLY at locally-owned restaurants and help your community!”

      And to hell with the locals who own, run and work at these restaurants that non-elitist snobs actually like, right? I’ve known a lot of gays who work at the establishments you thumb your nose at. To hell with them too, right? By “help your community!”, I suspect you mean that ivory tower you look down on the world from.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RichieW
      RichieW

      time to boycott Appleby’s

      Apr 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      Odd that someone would assume a local business to be better than a chain anyway. Some are, some are much worse.

      Apr 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bearfuzzlover
      bearfuzzlover

      From the Other Side of the Pond, here in Co.Cork, this sort of behaviour is rare, but there is absolutely no reason why some thug of a husband should take it upon himself (with his wife present) to behaviour like the Hitlet Movement … and only hope he landss up in prison for such an attack.
      Regarding the thug’s wife, maybe she incited her husband. After all, unless living in the same neighbourhood, how did he know the co-worker was gay … and even if he did … gay people should not be subjected this this kind of offensive language or criminal behaviour.
      I wish Timothy Phares well and hope he gets proper legal support in the courts to deal with thug, Rien Hendricks.

      Apr 2, 2013 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveBmke
      SteveBmke

      Here in Wisconsin, thanks to our Republican Gay bashing Governor we have a concealed carry law. A law that I recommend using. Myself I am now a part of the well armed left. I assure you if i was in that parking lot and saw those actions being done to Mr. Phares, someone would have stopped beating a fellow human with a 2 x 4 immediately. Nothing stops Gay Slur faster than showing a filled holster. Welcome to the Midwest!

      Apr 2, 2013 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Craig
      Craig

      This is really sad. I posted on the company branch Facebook so it will hit them but they can and will remove it. It doesn’t sound like a good restaurant and I’d like to see the perp pay medical bills who jumped bail and on the street. The wife should be put to shame and loose her position by encouraging this sort of thing.

      My thought and heart goes to Timothy Phares …. This sort of thing really digs deep inside and I wonder if Rien experienced his own violence would make him think twice. He is an animal that need to be put in place or locked up so others can feel safe.

      This behaviour is not acceptable or excused! It needs a very strong message that this is not ok.

      Craig from Australia.

      Apr 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @bmwblonde: Seriously, I think you’re being way too kind to these homophobic monsters. I’m all in favor of 250 lb., all-muscle gay Mafia!!! We know where you live and work, Shannon and Rien (what the hell kind of name is RIEN?):

      Shannon Hendricks & Rien L Hendricks
      527 PHIPPS AVE
      Rice Lake, Wisconsin 54868
      Phone: (715) 736-0315 – number not in service

      Workplace:
      MEYERS HEATING AND AC
      413 N MAIN ST Rice Lake, Wisconsin, United States
      Phone: (715) 234-4587

      Be very scared!!!

      Apr 7, 2013 at 7:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Dakotahgeo: As fun as that may be to imagine, neither vague threats nor carrying them out is a good idea in the real world. Besides, if the local police won’t put a hate crime charge on them, what may happen to someone who follows your suggestion?

      Apr 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @hyhybt: Not a problem! The old adage fits here: One reaps what one sows. Actually no one will have to touch scum and Msss. scum… they will eventually bring on their own demise… to our pure and utter… delight!

      Apr 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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