www.midrand.co.za - The online directory for Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa.

A scam that needs squashing.

An email message, which I have quoted below, is currently doing the rounds concerning Midrand McDonalds and Lauren / Kevin Archer.

My name is Lauren Archer, my son Kevin and I lived in Midrand.
On October 2nd, 1999, I took my only son to McDonald's for his 3rd birthday.
After he finished lunch, I allowed him to play in the ball pit. When he started whining later on, I asked him what was wrong, he pointed to the back of his pull-up and simply said "Mommy, it hurts." But I couldn't find anything wrong with him at that time.
I bathed him when we got home, and it was at that point when I found a welt on his left buttock. Upon investigating, it! ! seemed as if there was something like a splinter under the welt. I made an appointment to have it taken out the next day, but soon he started vomiting and shaking, then his eyes rolled back into his head.
From there, we went to the emergency room. He died later that night. It turned out that the welt on his buttock was the tip of a hypodermic needle that had broken off inside.
The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from heroine overdose.
The next week, the police removed the balls from the ball pit and lo and behold. There was rotten food, several hypodermic needles: some full; some used; knives, half-eaten candy, diapers, feces, and the stench of urine. If a child is not safe in a child's play area then where?
You can find the article on Kevin Archer in the October 10,1999, issue of the Midrand Chronicle.
Please forward this to all loving mothers.

A few facts!!!
  1. The "Midrand Chronicle" does NOT exist!
  2. The McDonald's in Midrand does NOT have a 'ball pit'
  3. The commander of the Midrand SAPS crime prevention unit, Captain Reinhard Falk, has confirmed that no such incident has been reported to or investigated by his office.
  4. The Midrand Reporter also received an email with the exact message. But this time the incident allegedly took place in Sugarland, Texas, and to have been reported in the Houston Chronicle
    According to a page on Urban Legends http://www.snopes.com the Houston Chronicle has also never reported on such an incident.

I have received more on this story. The entire email is posted below, (name and email address removed)

I have gotten a couple of e-mails (same one) from different people about 
the McDonalds in your town. I'm a fire prevention officer in Oregon and the 
story just did not look wright, so I e-mailed McDonalds, and this is what 
they said:

>From: "McDonald's Corporation" 
>To: "'original data removed
>Subject: RE: McDonald's Reply
>Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 10:11:05 -0600
>Hello name removed:
>Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's Corporation directly 
>to receive accurate
>information regarding a rumor you have heard.  We have thoroughly 
>investigated this rumor
>and it is absolutely not true.  There have been no such incidents ever 
>reported at any
>McDonald's.  In addition, there has never been an article in any newspaper 
>regarding this
>Unfortunately these types of rumors bring unnecessary concerns for our 
>customers.  It is
>important to know that safety is a top priority at McDonald's, especially 
>as it relates to children.
>We take many precautions to ensure our Playlands are safe.
>We do realize that the Internet is a "hotbed" for irresponsible rumors, 
>and for that reason, we
>especially appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to contact 
>McDonald's for the
>facts.  I encourage you to share this e-mail with anyone who shares this 
>rumor with you.
>If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 
>630-623-6198.  Again, thank you for
>contacting McDonald's.
>Customer Satisfaction Department

After a couple of days I received your web site info from one of the people 
I had send this reply from McDonalds to.

It was interesting that I could not find that newspaper either, and then to 
see it on your web site to confirm my suspicions.

Just wanted to let you know.

Name removed

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