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Busted! Should Coupon Fight Lead to No Country Buffet for Old Man?

Patch uncovers some of the stranger Tinley Park Police reports. In this installment, a 73-year-old man knocks down a restaurant manager over a coupon dispute.

Busted! takes a look at the more unusual reports that the men and women of the Tinley Park Police Department respond to. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent, the guilty and the embarrassed.

There comes a time in every man's life when he needs to stand up to injustice. Like when a restaurant doesn't accept your coupon.

A 73-year-old man was accused of assaulting a manager Nov. 3 at Old Country Buffet, 16060 S. Harlem Ave., after the manager wouldn't accept the customer's coupon, according to a police report.

No one was charged in the incident—the manager was worried what corporate headquarters would think, and the customer was given a trespass notice. And the details of what actually transpired as told by three people involved in the skirmish read like the Tinely Park version of Rashomon. The following is what they told police.

The cashier: This restaurant employee told police the customer and his wife became angry when they were told by the manager that their coupon was invalid. After that revelation, the customer confronted the manager face to face, and the manager fell backward and couldn't get up, the report stated. He was on the floor when police arrived, the report added.

The manager: His report to police matches the cashier's until the confrontation with the customer. The manager said the customer began yelling at him for not accepting the coupon, but then the man thought the manager called him a liar, the report stated. That's when the customer slapped the manager in the face with the back of his hand, which dropped the manager to the floor, the report continued. He stayed on the floor because of previous knee injury, but he refused medical attention when paramedics arrived, according to the report.

The customer: Again, the story stays the same until the customer and the manager square off over the coupon. According to the customer's statement, the manager called his wife a liar after she said another manager had validated the coupon in the past. The customer confronted the manager over his remark and pushed him, because he feared the manager was going to assault him, the report stated.

The police report did not indicate what kind of discount the coupon offered. Maybe it was for all-you-can-eat knuckle sandwiches.

Police report information is provided by the Tinley Park Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

VMPK November 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Sometimes it's mistake on the customers part being maybe the coupon expired or something, but the manager could have looked at the coupon and calmly explained to the couple why it was invalid! The manager could have been nice and accepted it this time too. Sometimes with the older generation its better to find away to work with them then make it worse for yourself! The older gentleman didn't need to hit the manager either, but it couldn't have been that bad since no charges were filed!
MTM November 15, 2012 at 09:57 PM
The manager should have honored the coupon even if it was expired , then post a sign at entrance that they will not accept expired coupons effective immediately - they spend a lot for advertising and creating the coupons in the first place , and right or wrong , many people with consider this issue as an negative for Old Country Buffet
Lucybagussie Mochang November 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Old Country Buffet (OCB) sucks at accepting coupons. If the manager hasn't seen or heard of the coupon that you're trying to redeem, you get treated like some kind of master counterfeiter out to put OCB out of business by passing them a $5.00 of two dinners coupon! The food is barely fit for human consumption so it's no big loss. I've been through the OCB coupon BS before and we have not been back to the place since. Here's what happened to my wife and I. BTW, I am 78 and my wife is 54 so we're no spring chickens. The OCB manager at the Roseville Minnesota OCB told me that I was trying to "pass a fake coupon" and that I had probably faked the coupon myself. In reality the coupon I was trying to "pass" was from the Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota. The coupon was obviously professionally printed, but since I was apparently the first person the manager had seen trying to "pass" the coupon, I was denied and treated like a forger in front of a rather long line. I hope that the manager at the Roseville Minnesota OCB reads this and remembers us. We could probably sue OCB seeing how it seems that people in today's society sue if you breathe wrong, but we would never do that. I just hope that he remembered us when the very same coupon started flooding into his OCB. Perhaps he turned all that submitted the coupon away, called the police and turned us in for being counterfeiters--what a bonehead!

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