Thursday, 4:30 PM
Customer accused of tossing hot coffee on clerk
By Janice Nickerson, Globe Correspondent
PLYMOUTH -- Allegedly upset over the $5.86 cost of two Dunkiní Donuts coffee-and-muffin orders, a 57-year-old landscaper threw the piping-hot drinks at a 17-year-old clerk, burning her left ear, neck, and side, according to police and prosecutors.
Kevin R. Thomas of Plymouth was arraigned Monday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon -- hot coffee. He is accused of throwing the drinks at Chelsea Hanson after the teenage clerk came to the aid of another Dunkiní Donuts worker who had been struck in the face by an empty cardboard carry-out tray allegedly tossed by Thomas.
Thomas was free on $15,000 bail that he posted Saturday, hours after turning himself in to Plymouth police. Monday, Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas Brownell ordered Thomas to stay away from the State Road Dunkiní Donuts and the two employees.
Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Kusmin sought to increase Thomasís bail to $25,000, citing the possibility of an additional charge of mayhem if the burns to Hanson result in disfigurement.
According to the police report read by Kusmin, Thomas entered the State Road business Saturday morning, and was "rude and swearing" and "upset because of the price and taxes on the order."
Kusmin said a receipt was printed by the first clerk, Megan Urichuk, and shown to Thomas, at which time he is said to have thrown the empty cardboard tray at Urichuk, striking her in the face while stating, "Why donít you finish your job and put my coffees in the tray."
Kusmin said Hanson then spoke up, and said "Why donít you stop throwing things at her."
Thomas then allegedly threw the coffees at Hanson before turning and leaving the store. Court documents say Hanson received "first-degree thermal burns."
The incident was captured on the storeís security camera.
Hansonís sister, Rachel Hanson, said Thomas "must have been having a bad day. There have been conflicting reports about his demeanor. Nobody knew what he was thinking."
Rachel Hanson said her sister was in pain and taking medication for it.
Outside court, defense attorney Christopher Faulkner said that "if the allegations are true," it would be out of character for his client.
A woman who answered Thomasís phone and identified herself as his wife said, "There is another side to the story," but her husband "is not allowed to make any comments at this time."
According to the police report, Thomas told police he threw the cardboard tray at a clerk, and that the tray, with coffee, was thrown back at him and he "lost it." He expressed regret to police and "hoped the young lady wasnít hurt too bad."