The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is warning its deputies to reconsider eating at McDonald's after an incident reported Thursday at a Mesa restaurant.
According to a news release on Friday, a uniformed deputy ordering lunch at the McDonald's at 1460 W. Southern Ave. was the subject of verbal abuse directed at himself and his agency. The deputy, who speaks Spanish, confronted the food handlers and refused to accept his order, then reported the incident to the sheriff and McDonald's corporate headquarters.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the restaurant was the target of an employer sanctions investigation in March, when four illegal immigrants were arrested on suspicion of identity theft. Three other nearby locations were tied to the investigation, leading to the arrest of 13 others.
"I am not asking my employees to avoid McDonalds completely," Arpaio said in a statement. "But I do think that anytime one of them is in uniform or driving a marked vehicle, out of an abundance of caution, he or she should use some discretion when deciding where to eat."
The sheriff's office says it has conducted 41 ID theft business raids, resulting in 462 arrests. The latest was conducted Thursday at a central Phoenix construction business called Western Erectors, where eight employees were arrested on suspicion of ID theft.