Dec 30, 2019 5:55 PM

The Latest: Kan. police officer made up story about expletive on his coffee cup

Posted Dec 30, 2019 5:55 PM

Photo courtesy Herington Police

By Dewey Terrill

JUNCTION CITY —The story about an expletive followed by the word "pig" on a coffee cup served to a Herington police officer at the South Washington Street McDonald's in Junction City Saturday morning was a hoax.

Police Chief Brian Hornady addressed the matter during a press conference at the McDonald's Monday evening. "The investigation conducted by both the Herington Police Department and McDonald's has concluded. In that investigation we have found that McDonald's and its employees did not have anything whatsoever to do with this incident. This was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed by our agency."

Hornady confirmed the officer, who he declined to identify for personnel reasons, has resigned. The 23-year old patrol officer. who was a former military police officer for the U.S. Army,  had been employed by the Herington Police Department for approximately two months. The former officer is a resident of Junction City. 

Hornaday noted that no criminal charges will be filed against the former officer. "The investigation that I conducted showed that this was meant to be a joke. However we can see that how something so serious can get so out of control very very quickly. The most important thing that could have been done and should have been in this scenario would be to come forward immediately prior to damage being done, prior to this becoming a nationwide incident. However unfortunately that was not done. All we can do is move forward with the knowledge we know now and hopefully we can do something in the future to avoid these types of situations, and to learn from it so that we all grow and become stronger together."

On the decision not to file any criminal charges Hornaday stated he had discussed the entire issue with the Dickinson County Attorney Andrea Purvis. "At this point based on the information that she has been provided with there is not believed to be any criminal charges."


JUNCTION CITY, Kan.  (AP) — McDonald's is disputing allegations that a Kansas police officer was handed a coffee with an expletive and the word “pig” written on it when he stopped there on his way to work.

Dana Cook, the owner of a McDonald’s in Junction City, said in a written statement that the store has video showing it wasn’t their employee. Cook did not speculate about who may have written the words.

The coffee situation gained attention after Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday said in a Facebook post that one of his officers was handed the cup with the obscenity Saturday when he went through the McDonald's drive through in Junction City, which is near Fort Riley. Hornaday wrote the officer was offered a "free lunch" and that “A Big Mac and large fries doesn't make up for it.” The post included a picture of the cup.

"This behavior has been, is and always will be wrong," Hornaday said.

He didn't immediately return an email message Monday.

Capt. David Gilbert, of the sheriff's office in Geary County, where Junction City is located, said in an email Monday that it is “saddening to see this incident in our community no matter who wrote on the officer’s cup." The statement added that “WE will stand together as a community while the incident investigation is completed.”

McDonald's corporate media didn't answer question, instead directing people to look at the owner's statement.

“My McDonald’s have the utmost respect for all members of law enforcement and the military and were troubled by the accusation made," Cook wrote in the statement. “We thoroughly reviewed our security video from every angle, which clearly shows the words were not written by one of our employees. We look forward to working with Chief Hornaday as he continues his investigation.”

On Monday, the Geary County Sheriff's Department wrote about the incident, 'This is not indicative of the community of Junction City, Geary County, Kansas. The Geary County Sheriff’s Office is standing by its original statement in reference to the incident at McDonald’s. It is saddening to see this incident in our community no matter who wrote on the officer’s cup. The incident has garnered national news and has given those outside our community a foothold into the relationship between the law enforcement agencies here in Geary County, Kansas and the community we consider ourselves members of. After the Headlines have faded from the national media outlets, we realize it is us as a community that have to constantly work together in order to properly serve the community. We all live here, work here, have families here, and raise our children here. It is the mission of the Men and Women of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office to safeguard the lives, Constitutional Rights and property of those in our community by fairly and impartially enforcing state and local laws. We will perform our public safety and custodial duties with honor, courage, compassion and fidelity while holding ourselves accountable to the community we serve. We will uphold the Constitution of the State of Kansas, and the Constitution of the United States of America. we will stand together as a community while the incident investigation is completed."