Make us your home page
Instagram

KFC probes whether scarred girl was asked to leave for 'scaring other diners'

JACKSON, Miss. — KFC Corp. says it's investigating allegations that a restaurant employee in Jackson, Miss., asked a 3-year-old to leave because her facial injuries disturbed other patrons. The company is also giving $30,000 toward Victoria Wilcher's medical bills, a spokesman said Sunday.

The allegation about KFC was made Thursday on "Victoria's Victories," a Facebook page following Victoria Wilcher's recovery from a pit bull attack in April. The administrator posted a photo showing Victoria smiling shyly in spite of her facial scars and cartoon-decorated eye patch, and wrote, "Does this look scary to you? Last week at KFC in Jackson MS this precious face was asked to leave because her face scared the other diners."

KFC posted an apology the next morning, requesting details.

"As soon as we were notified of this report on Friday, we immediately began an investigation, as this kind of hurtful and disrespectful action would not be tolerated by KFC," spokesman Rick Maynard wrote Sunday in an email to the Associated Press. "Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, we have apologized to Victoria's family and are committed to assisting them. The company is making a $30,000 donation to assist with her medical bills. The entire KFC family is behind Victoria."

Her grandmother Kelly Mullins said Victoria had just been to a doctor's when they stopped at the restaurant. She ordered mashed potatoes for Victoria because she thought the hungry child could swallow the soft food without chewing.

She says she was then approached by an employee. "They just told us, they said, 'We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers,' " she told WAPT-TV.

Victoria wept all the way home and now is embarrassed by her appearance — something that wasn't the case before, Mullins said.

"She won't even look in the mirror anymore," Mullins said. "When we go to a store, she doesn't even want to get out" of the car.

Victoria was attacked by pit bulls at her grandfather's home. The dogs broke her nose, both jaws, cheekbones and right eye socket; the right side of her face is paralyzed and she lost that eye, according to her Facebook site. Her bottom jaw was reconstructed but she needs a feeding tube and must grow more bone in her face before more surgery is possible, it states.

The page's administrator wrote Sunday that "Victoria's Victories" had gone from 250 people praying for Victoria to thousands.

The page had more than 32,500 "likes" on Sunday.

A message posted Friday evening by another Mississippi KFC franchisee, Dick West of West Quality Food Service in Laurel, offered "a big KFC picnic" for the child and her family.

West also wrote that he knows the Jackson restaurant owners "and they have never in the 50 years they have operated in Jackson allowed anyone coming into their restaurants to be treated with dis-respect."

In a message to the AP, he wrote, "I am sure KFC will make their finding public as soon as the facts are in. In the meantime, I offered to treat Victoria to a picnic because regardless of the outcome of the investigation, she has been thru more than any little girl should and I wanted to give her a special treat."

KFC Corp. says it's investigating allegations that a restaurant employee in Jackson, Miss., asked a 3-year-old to leave because her facial injuries disturbed other patrons. The company is also giving $30,000 toward Victoria Wilcher's medical bills, a spokesman said Sunday. [Facebook.com/victoriasvictories]

KFC Corp. says it's investigating allegations that a restaurant employee in Jackson, Miss., asked a 3-year-old to leave because her facial injuries disturbed other patrons. The company is also giving $30,000 toward Victoria Wilcher's medical bills, a spokesman said Sunday. [Facebook.com/victoriasvictories]

KFC probes whether scarred girl was asked to leave for 'scaring other diners' 06/15/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man pleads guilty to forging check for fake investment

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa resident was convicted Thursday for forging a check for a fake investment. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said that Eric Franz Peer pleaded guilty. He served 11 months in jail and will have to pay $18,000.

  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa

    Business

    Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

    Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
  4. New bistro hopes to serve as 'adult Chuck E. Cheese'

    Business

    YBOR CITY — Inside Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy, a new restaurant opening in Ybor City, customers will find a mix of family recipes, games and secrecy.

    Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy readies to open in Ybor City. Photo courtesy of Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy.
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]