A VIRAL video showing several young men spraying security guards with fire extinguisher foam has uncovered a growing concern about antisocial behaviour at the city’s favourite late-night eatery.
An insider at the King Street McDonald’s restaurant at Newcastle West has revealed staff were in fear for their safety as drunk and drug-affected revellers turned on them, as well as themselves, after a night out.
The insider, who did not wish to be named for fear of losing their job, told of customers intentionally cutting themselves and smearing blood across tables and service counters, others barging behind the counter to help themselves to food, violent assaults and at least one security guard being injured when a sharpened pen was used as a weapon.
‘‘It is out of control, they come like moths to a flame either to use it as a meeting place or just to cause trouble,’’ the insider said.
‘‘The staff are definitely scared. Friday and Saturday nights you are just waiting for something to happen.’’
McDonald’s head office was in contact with Newcastle City police on Friday, not long after being contacted by the Newcastle Herald, to organise a meeting with senior officers next week.
A spokeswoman said there were no recent reports on record of violent assaults within the store.
‘The safety of our crew and customers is our No.1 priority,’’ she said.
‘‘We have a number of security measures in place at this restaurant and a close working relationship with local police to ensure our staff and customers are kept safe.’’
Newcastle City crime manager Detective Inspector Steve Laksa said police had not received reports from staff or customers about any recent problems at the fast food store.
But he said police had also not received any information about the fire extinguisher incident until shown the video by the Herald and had begun an investigation.
The video, which had been watched by nearly 85,000 viewers by Friday night, shows the men yelling out to get the security guards’ attention before spraying them with foam.
The guards and some customers are completely engulfed in the foam before one extinguisher was thrown onto the ground and later hurled at a window, which is not shown on the video.
Police said they had now identified three ‘‘persons of interest’’ and were keen to speak with the suspects about the attack.
It is believed the extinguishers in the incident were possibly stolen from a nearby business early last Saturday morning.
‘‘This is just typical of the place late at night,’’ the insider said.
‘‘We have seen people get followed into the toilets and bashed, not long ago a guy nearly lost his eye.
‘‘Staff don’t call the police unless they have to.
‘‘There are four security guards on every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday but even that isn’t enough.
‘‘It is out of control.’’