Police: Restaurant manager forced himself on teenage employee

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ALBANY, Ind. (May 1, 2015)-- A McDonald’s manager is off the job, accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old employee.   

Police say Jason Herzfeld, 40, forced himself on the young girl in the restaurant’s office, but he claimed he was looking at a sunburn on the girl’s body.

People in the town of about 3,000 told FOX59 they were shocked to learn about the incident investigators said happened in early April.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Jerri Bost.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Forrest O’Bryant.

O’Bryant had to pause to react when FOX59 asked him about the alleged sexual assault just a few miles from his house at the Albany McDonald’s on West Walnut Street.

“It’s almost everybody knows everybody, you know. And you think you’re all friends and neighbors,” he said.

The 17-year-old girl told Albany Police her McDonald’s manager Jason Herzfeld sexually assaulted her inside an office at work on April 7. A police narrative said investigators got video from inside that office that showed Herzfeld lifting the teen’s shirt and inappropriately touching her all over.

Police said the video also showed the girl trying to leave the room, but Herzfeld pulled her back in and put himself between the victim and the door. She later escaped.

When detectives interviewed Herzfeld, according to a police report, he told them he knew why they were calling and maintained he was looking at a sunburn on the victim’s body.

Police said Herzfeld later admitted to touching the teen inappropriately, saying he "messed up," and also saying he thought she knew she was free to go at any time.

“You have a safety and a security blanket by living in a small town, and something like that happens, it shakes you up a little bit,” said Bost.

Herzfeld faces sexual battery, criminal confinement, and Misdemeanor battery charges. He posted $11,000 bond and will be in court on May 28.

McDonald’s terminated him shortly after the incident.