Family Dollar employee goes off on reporter after rodents, droppings found inside store

Employee shouts expletives at Local 10 reporter; slams iPad into his face

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

A Family Dollar store employee who went off on Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier Thursday, a week after he obtained an inspection report that revealed the store had a serious rodent issue, has since been fired, a store spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

Weinsier dropped by the Miami Gardens store Thursday to get an update and see if the store had reopened, but instead the police had to be called.

"I don't want to be on no f****ing camera," the employee said. "You just don't put that in my face."

Weinsier told the woman he didn't put anything in her face, but she was still riled up.

"I don't care about no f***ing Family Dollar. I'm me. I ain't Family Dollar," the woman said.  

Weinsier was confronted by the employee while taking a photo of a sign on the window of the Family Dollar at Northwest 199th Street and 37th Avenue.

The woman then took the iPad Weinsier was taking the picture with and slammed it into his face. Police were eventually called. 

According to an inspection report by the Florida Department of Agriculture, cases of potato chips were found Aug. 16 on shelves with "chew marks and soil stains."

A dead rodent was also found attached to a pest control glue trap.

"Just cause we had rodents, like we created the rodents," the employee said.

"Isn't it your job to keep the place clean?" Weinsier asked the employee. "I'm asking you, why you don't keep your store clean?"

"Why don't you go clean it?" the woman said.

"I don't work here," Weinsier responded.

"I don't either," the woman said.

"Yes, you do. It's your job," Weinsier said. "You are putting people at risk."

"You are putting them at risk. Your mama is putting them at risk," the woman responded.

Sections of the store were forced to be shut after the Aug. 16 inspection, but the store itself remained open.

When Local 10 News went into the store last week with a hidden camera, we saw a dead rodent surrounded by a pile of droppings.

There were also rodent droppings on the shelves in almost every aisle.

After we sent the photos to corporate officials, the entire store was voluntarily shut.

The store still hasn't reopened.

An inspector from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services re-inspected the Family Dollar Thursday afternoon and the unsanitary conditions still existed.

According to a sticker on the outside, a rodent infestation still exists. A stop use order continues for food deliveries, the retail area, backroom and receiving area.  

A Family Dollar spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the company had fired the employee who confronted Weinsier outside the store.

"We continue to work on resolving the store conditions," the spokeswoman said in an email. "The actions of our former associate were not acceptable, and this was promptly addressed."
 

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