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KFC probes whether scarred girl was asked to leave

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:37 p.m. HST, Jun 15, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. >> KFC Corp. says it's investigating allegations that a restaurant employee in Jackson, Mississippi, 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."

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alohacharlie wrote:
So what happened to the pit bulls that attacked the little girl? How about some complete reporting for a change. I would also be interested to know how soon the KFC employee that asked her to leave will be fired.
on June 15,2014 | 01:31PM
Kealii wrote:
On reddit.com, they reported that the grandpa had shot 2 of his 3 pit bulls involved in the attack and the third was later put down.
on June 16,2014 | 02:54AM
primowarrior wrote:
What a cold and heartless thing to say to this little girl. I hope she won't have to deal with as many internal scars after that.
on June 15,2014 | 03:19PM
Kealii wrote:
Have to give KFC some credit for trying to make amends for this horrible experience all due to one brain-dead employee.
on June 16,2014 | 02:59AM
lokela wrote:
KFC sucks anyway. Way over priced for the squabs they sell.
on June 16,2014 | 06:21AM
Holomua wrote:
I wonder if it's another one of those self-pity hoaxes. Like the waitress who claimed she was given a bad tip because she was gay. Or that other waiter that claimed to get a 1% tip from a banker.
on June 16,2014 | 07:07AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Tragic, senseless actions. Wonder if the girl had been black, would the KFC owners have acted any differently? Would there have been an apology. Nice to know the dogs were put down. But wouldn't it have been better if the grandfather had taken adequate precautions, thus avoiding all this heartaches. Ah, hind sight.
on June 16,2014 | 07:07AM
You should leave this in your "hind" sight!. We dont need to turn this into a racial thing. It should be left as an unfortunate thing.
on June 16,2014 | 06:15PM
Kapuna wrote:
the victim's parents and grandparents must be imprisoned for reckless and wanton child endangerment and negligent attempted murder by let their dog savagely eat her.
on June 16,2014 | 07:52AM
788686 wrote:
So true...why not shoot or put the human down instead of the dog. Dog owners don't take care of the dogs properly and then they die because of the lack of dog training. Pit bulls are not dangerous dogs...their owners are!
on June 16,2014 | 10:16AM
glenn57377 wrote:
Let the investigation be completed. For KFC, they are jumping ahead by being overly giving to the girl due to possible current and future negative press. They are a company. This is what they must do. Marketing prowess. I don't blame KFC. If in fact an employee did say this.......they should be fired. If anyone else was involved in this travesty, they should be fired as well. Should this be some sort of hoax......somebody should be fined. Also.....grandpa needs to keep his dogs in a controlled environment. What a terrible thing to happen in order for him to then take action. I know he didn't want the little girl to get hurt......but that is hindshight. He will have to live with this the rest of his life.......as will the little girl. With great plastic surgery.......she will be pretty.........her life will come back. Grandpa's will never be the same.
on June 16,2014 | 10:33AM
AhiPoke wrote:
IF true, KFC did the right thing. It's hard to tell now days as there are way too many scamers. $30K is a small amount compaired to what it would cost had this little girl been black. I'm also wondering if the KFC employee were black or white.
on June 16,2014 | 10:39AM
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