Police have discovered the culprit who wrote an expletive and an insult on a cop's coffee cup at McDonald's, but it wasn't an employee at the store — it was the police officer himself.
While the story made national headlines as the latest in incidents where fast-food employees insulted police officers, it turns out that this one from Junction City, Kansas, was a hoax.
Suspicions were raised when the restaurant franchise owner backed his employees and said on Sunday that the video surveillance showed that none of them wrote anything on the receipt on the officer's cup.
"My McDonald's have the utmost respect for all members of law enforcement and the military, and were troubled by the accusation made," said Dana Cook, the franchise owner.
"We thoroughly reviewed our security video from every angle, which clearly shows the words were not written by one of our employees," he added.
Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday initially released an outraged statement about the treatment of his police officer, but then days later admitted the officer had done it himself.
"This was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer no longer employed with the agency," Hornaday said on Monday.
The former officer, who was left unidentified, had only been with the department for two months. Hornaday told reporters that the officer told him the incident had been intended as a joke.
"I truly hope the former officer of the Herington Police Department that did this understands the magnitude of the black eye this gives the law enforcement profession from coast to coast," Hornaday added.