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Blood, tears and poultry: Is the Popeyes chicken sandwich really worth fighting over?

The Popeyes chicken sandwich is back and so is the violence.

It seemed bound for infamy from the beginning, bursting on the scene in August, going toe-to-toe with Chick-fil-A’s incumbent chicken sandwich supreme.

After its release on Aug. 12, Popeyes’ chicken sandwich sold out in just over two weeks, during which time customers went to great — and sometimes violent — lengths to get their hands on the sandwich. The fast food chain brought the sandwich back in early November and the violence has returned, leaving one man dead.

Here are some of the most disturbing incidents sparked by chicken sandwich mania:

Fatal stabbing in Maryland

On Monday, police in Maryland say Kevin Tyrell Davis, 28, was stabbed to death after an argument with another customer while the two were in line to order at a Popeyes in Oxon Hill, CNN reported. Police say surveillance video appears to show Davis attempting to cut in a line set up specifically for customers planning to order the chicken sandwich.

Police say another customer confronted Davis and the two ultimately went outside, where Davis was stabbed, according to the news outlet. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and police say they are still looking for the suspect.

Woman body-slammed in Tennessee

Just a day later in Columbia, Popeyes employee Deriance Ra’Shaiel Hughes, 29, was arrested after police say he body-slammed a customer, WSMV reported. There are conflicting reports as to what led to the altercation, which was caught on video.

Debra Staggs, 55, says she went into the restaurant to get a refund and that the manager “immediately began insulting her,” according to the news outlet. An employee’s husband says Staggs hurled a racial slur after she was overcharged for a sandwich.

Staggs’ lawyers say she suffered a broken knee and six cracked ribs, WSMV reported. Hughes was charged with aggravated assault.

But this wasn’t Tennessee’s first issue at Popeyes. In August, Chattanooga-area resident Craig Barr sued the restaurant after he says he wasted “countless” hours trying to get his hands on the chicken sandwich, McClatchy news group reported.

Barr says the restaurant “purposefully overhyped” the sandwich in an attempt to “increase popularity and garner attention,” the Times Free Press reported.

Gun pulled in Texas

Back in September, Houston police say a man pulled a gun after learning a local Popeyes was out of chicken sandwiches, McClatchy news group reported. Employees say a group of people tried to order the sandwich in the drive-thru, then “rushed” the front door when they learned the restaurant was out.

Police say a man pulled out a pistol and demanded employees hand over the sandwich, before ultimately leaving the restaurant, McClatchy news group reported.

Fight in New York

A brawl broke out in Brooklyn after a customer says she paid for what she was told was the last chicken sandwich in the store, MTO News reported. She says the restaurant then gave her sandwich to another customer, causing an argument and ultimately a fight between the woman and the employee.

The fight was caught on video and NYPD is invetigatiing, according to the news outlet.

Is the sandwich really that good?

With so much violence, one can’t help but ask if the sandwich is really worth risking life and limb.

Mashed attempted to break down what makes the sandwich so special, crediting Popeyes’ buttered brioche bun and larger, juicier chicken filet. Mashed also postulates that the restaurant’s spicy mayonnaise puts the sandwich a step above its sauce-less counterparts.

But some aren’t convinced.

Justin Bieber, himself, declared the sandwich “not worth the hype” in an Instagram story, and he’s not alone. Some Twitter users are as bewildered by the sandwich and the accompanying violence as he is.

Others, however, say the violence is a sign of the sandwich’s superiority.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.
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