After you buy food at the grocery store, it’s pretty much yours to do with as you wish, right? But a Kroger manager in Georgia didn’t believe that an elderly customer would just want to hand out food to hungry people, and allegedly attacked the man, losing his job in the process.
The incident occurred last Thursday, when the 73-year-old, who operates a non-profit that donates perishable food to families in need, was was trying to help a young woman who could not afford all the groceries she needed to buy.
He asked her to follow her out to the parking lot so he could look through the food he had available to hand out to see what he could offer her.
“The manager came outside with a security guard and told me to leave the property and I wasn’t allowed to sell food there,” the man tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I told him that I wasn’t selling food.”
The manager was not convinced, even though the septuagenarian had been working with this particular Kroger since starting his operation more than a decade ago.
“He asked me to show him proof of my business,” recalls the man, who says he got a card from inside the vehicle and gav it to the manager. “Then he snatched the [card] from me and turned to walk away.”
When the man tried to get the card back from the manager, that’s when witnesses say the manager “knocked [the 73-year-old] down in the parking lot and just busted his head open.”
In addition to requiring stitches for the cut over his eye, the older man reportedly reinjured a rotator cuff tear that he’d recently had surgery to repair.
The manager was charged with simple battery and released on $1,000 bond.
Kroger HQ calls the incident, “a terrible thing. This never should have happened and we deeply regret that it did…. After an internal investigation, we have decided to terminate [the manager's] employment with Kroger.”
Because of his injuries, the man says he hasn’t been able to hand out food since the incident.
“I don’t think I could stop,” he explains. “But there are places that I go everyday that I haven’t been able to go to.”