In a case involving a 63-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a McDonald’s employee at a Racine restaurant, the two managers in charge on April 30 and May 1 did not immediately report the incident to the police department as the criminal complaint alleged.
Adrian Fernandez, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney‘s Office last week with second-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and child enticement. Both were charged as a repeat offender and serious sex crimes. If convicted of both charges, Fernandez faces up to 72 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Convicted of sexual assault in 1984, Fernandez is a registered sex offender.
The boy’s family, who is not being named to protect the boy’s identity, is angered by how McDonald’s managers handled the incident and how staff at the Racine County District Attorney’s Office wrote the criminal complaint, which contained several inconsistencies when compared to the police reports. While McDonald’s fired the managers involved in the incident and the DA issuing a new complaint along with an additional stalking charge, the father is speaking out about the experience.
“We were told that the police would come talk to us, but no police came,” the father said. “At that time we went to the police station and made the report. The police had no idea of the crime.”
Inconsistencies Found In Criminal Complaint
The boy’s father told Racine County Eye he spotted several inconsistencies in multiple media reports about the incidents, which were confirmed after RCE obtained police reports by filing an open records request with the Racine Police Department.
The Racine County District Attorney’s Office issued the criminal complaint last week, which indicated that McDonald’s managers called the police on May 1, that the detective assigned to investigate the case went to McDonald’s on that date, and that a manager spoke to Fernandez on May 1 and told him that if he came back to the restaurant he would call the police.
But, according to the criminal complaint, the incident on May 1 was actually the second time the boy was approached. The first time was the day before, on April 30. On that date, the employee told police he was working at the restaurant when two customers were eating at the restaurant. As the boy was cleaning the men’s bathroom, Fernandez followed him, told the boy he had a nice body and asked if he could touch him. The boy said no, and as the boy tried to leave the restroom, Fernandez touched his buttocks.
“McDonald’s DID NOT help my son or protect my son. In fact, they helped that monster by sending my son into the bathroom,” the father said.
Dottie Metz, the owner and operator of the McDonald’s in question, 3037 Douglas Ave., would not confirm the status of the managers’ employment, but she did issue the following statement:
“The safety of our crew is of the utmost importance to me as an owner/operator. We have safety procedures and protocols in place for our crew and staff to follow. We are fully cooperating with police on this matter.”
Criminal Complaint Contains Errors
Racine County Eye learned that several details contained in the criminal complaint are not accurate and do not match the narrative contained in the police report:
- The police report confirms that officers were dispatched to the counter at the police department on May 2 and not to the restaurant in response to a manager calling the police.
- The criminal complaint states that managers at McDonald’s not only called police on May 1 but told the boy’s father that officers would interview the boy the next day. According to the police report, the boy’s father called the McDonald’s corporate office to complain because police did not interview the boy, and the boy’s mother took their son to the police station to file the report on their own. McDonald’s officials did not call police until 4:32 p.m. May 2.
- The police report clearly outlines Fernandez visiting the restaurant three times on April 30, and once on May 1. On both days the boy reported the incidents to his shift managers, and each time, they told the boy that if Fernandez returned and did anything to tell them about it, but neither called police. The complaint says that managers spoke to Fernandez, but that also didn’t happen.
When the boy’s father called McDonald’s on May 2 to ask why the police did not arrive at his house, he was told by the corporate office that they were not aware of the incident.
District Attorney Responds To Father’s Concern
Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete explained that his office has no ties to Metz or the managers, and the errors were not intentional. Since that initial conversation, a new criminal complaint is being issued.
“There is no sneakiness happening here and there was no intent to deceive anyone,” Chiapete said. “Either there was an error that happened in dictation or the typing of the dictation.”
Chiapete also explained that if there were a conflict, he would have referred the case to another county.
“Charges are filed to hold people responsible, but I would be a fool to say that we never make mistakes,” he said.
The police report was correct, but how the criminal complaint characterized some details angers the boy’s father.
“They can say that a million times… (this) was no accident,” the man said. “They protected McDonald’s. Made them look like heroes and gave McDonald’s the room to disrespect us… How can they be protected from lying and allowing some monster to attack my son?!”
Fernandez was in court Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing, but it was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 15 because they did not have an interpreter for him.