CLEVELAND — A 54-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison for two separate incidents earlier this year: he threw hot coffee at a McDonald’s employee in February and he struck a co-worker with his vehicle in June.
Joseph Deluca pleaded guilty to felonious assault for throwing two cups of hot coffee at a McDonald’s employee in February and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for striking a co-worker with his car in June.
On Feb. 19, 2019, Deluca ordered a hot coffee from the McDonald’s near Clark Avenue and West 32nd Street, according to a news release from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. When he drove up to the window, the employee handed him two cups before realizing he had only ordered one cup. When the employee asked to see his receipt, Deluca got out of his vehicle, yelled obscenities at the employee, then threw both cups of hot coffee at her before driving away.
The employee was treated at a hospital for first degree burns to her face, neck and shoulder.
The victim’s coworkers called Cleveland police and used surveillance footage to confirm Deluca’s identity and license plate.
Authorities released surveillance video showing the assault from two different angles - Warning: these videos may be upsetting to watch.
On June 25, 2019, Deluca struck a man with his vehicle near Broadway Avenue and East 71st Street, the release states. After striking the victim, Deluca got out of the vehicle an began kicking him until the victim was able to flee and call police.
The investigation revealed that the victim was Deluca’s co-worker, who Deluca targeted for reporting a prior altercation between Deluca and another employee to their employer.
After pleading guilty, Deluca was sentenced to three years in prison for the McDonald’s incident and 18 months for the incident involving his co-worker, to be served concurrently.
“Deluca appears to have an inability to control his temper,” said Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. “Hopefully he uses the next three years to learn to correct that problem.”