Published May 16, 2007
OTTAWA, Ill. – An Illinois 8-year-old got more than a hamburger and french fries when she opened her Happy Meal this week.
A 17-year-old employee of an Ottawa, Ill., McDonald's is out of work and facing drug charges after allegedly hiding marijuana and a lighter in the Happy Meal.
Keith Irelan and his three children went through a McDonald's drive-thru Monday night to order Happy Meals. They were on their way to meet their mother at a nearby school for a picnic, police said.
But one of the children — an 8-year-old girl — got a lighter, pipe, and bag of marijuana in her Happy Meal, according to Ottawa Police Chief Brian Zeilmann. Her father went to the police.
"To be honest, you don't expect that," Irelan told FOX Chicago affiliate WFLD-TV.
"She said 'Mom, I have a lighter in my Happy Meal,'" the girl's mother said.
The girl showed the lighter to her dad, then told him later that she got two other "toys" in her Happy Meal. One of those toys was a bag of marijuana.
"She said 'What is this?'" Irelan said. "Right then and there, I knew what it was."
McDonald's employee Brandon Scott of Ottawa was fired on the spot, then arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
"Indications are the subject placed them in an empty box, intent on hiding the items," Zeilmann told WFLD-TV.
McDonald's owners cooperated with the investigation that led to the arrest, Zeilmann said. The store apologized, but the Irelan family said they still may sue, WFLD-TV reported.