Police: Man slaps Little Caesars manager over pizza toppings, gets 20 day sentence

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Thursday, August 1, 2019
Michigan pizza shop manager slapped
Michigan pizza shop manager slapped: as seen on Action News Mornings, August 1, 2019.

LIVONIA, Michigan -- An irate customer first called to complain about his pizza.

But even after he was told he could get a refund or a new pizza, he showed up at the Little Caesars in Livonia, Michigan, even more upset.

"I've been doing this for 12 years and not a day in my life have I ever had a customer lash out at me that bad," Kesli Beckwith told WXYZ-TV.

Beckwith still can't believe what happened to her earlier this month at the Livonia Little Caesars where she works as a manager.

Police say Joseph Thorpe is the man who got so mad that his pizza had Italian seasoning on it instead of parmesan that he returned to the store and slapped Beckwith right across the face.

"Threw his pizza on the counter, told me he was going to beat everyone's butt in the store. I got my coworker to call the police," Beckwith said.

Dispatcher: Livonia police.

Asst. Manager: I have a customer threatening the other manager.

"I was getting ready to refund his money and next thing you know I turned back towards him, he legit stepped into it, brought his hand back as far as he could and slapped the crap out of me," Beckwith said.

Seconds later on that 911 call, you can hear Beckwith screaming in pain.

Asst. Manager: He just slapped her!! (screams) He just slapped her!! (screams)

"When you see the violence that was used against this manager, a female manager who was trying to make things right and he strikes her across the face, it's really beyond incomprehensible," Livonia Police Captain Ron Taig said.

Beckwith says customers and co-workers helped her off the ground and got her ice for her face.

One of the customers got the license plate of the car Thorpe took off in. It wasn't registered to him, but police were able to track him down.

"The witness did an extremely good job by taking a picture of the license plate and then we had to work from there," Taig said.

Thorpe was charged with assault and battery and was sentenced to 20 days behind bars.

Beckwith says while she's no longer in pain, she's definitely more on guard at work.

"There's no reason to be hitting someone, especially a dude hitting a female over a $5 pizza," Beckwith said.