Manager of Buffalo Wild Wings in Grand Rapids fired over video of him choking customer

Company officials say manager terminated for handling of drunk customer

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The manager of a Downtown Grand Rapids Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant is out of a job after being caught on tape choking a man inside the restaurant, officials said.

Police said the incident happened Sept. 5 or 6 at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant near the corner of Fulton Street and Ionia Avenue. The video was leaked online this weekend, and the manager was quickly fired.

The video shows the customer being choked until he falls to the floor.

It begins with two people talking to a man when one of them suddenly grabs him by the neck and doesn't let go. He holds on for about 15 seconds before the man collapses.

The two men dragged the customer's limp body out of the camera's view.

The man who posted the video is a former employee who said he got it from a current staff member who wanted to blow the whistle.

Buffalo Wild Wings officials said the incident never should have happened.

"We are extremely disappointed by this incident at our restaurant in Grand Rapids," said Jean Lanfear, vice president of human resources. "We've terminated this employee, who obviously does not embody the values of Buffalo Wild Wings."

Company officials said the customer was drunk and causing chaos in the restaurant before the scene that played out in the video. But they said the manager's actions were nonetheless out of line.

Buffalo Wild Wings declined to comment on whether police are involved in the matter. Company officials said the incident is still under investigation.

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