Philadelphia, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) – With tensions running high across the country, last month was another rough one for retail workers.
Customers in South Philadelphia, Penn. and in Independence, Ohio were attacked over customer service disputes. And a restaurant employee in Amarillo, Texas was attacked by a fired employee.
In Philadelphia, a man attacked an employee of a Boost Mobile store on South Broad Street after demanding an item for free, police said. When the employee refused, the suspect attacked him.
Police said the suspect repeatedly punched and kicked the employee until he fell. At that point, surveillance video showed, the suspect took the employee’s cell phone and fled the store into the subway. The victim chased after him. When the suspect realized the victim was following him, he stopped and attacked the victim a second time, police said.
Police are still searching for the suspect.
In Ohio, two people have been charged with assault and resisting arrest after attacking employees at Top Golf on Wednesday.
According to Independence police reports, a man and a woman entered Top Golf and opened a tab while they waited in the bar area for a golf stall to become available. When the stall opened up, the couple went to it but didn’t pay their tab.
When an employee ran the man’s credit card, the charges were declined. The employee went to the couple to explain the problem. The man told the employee the card shouldn’t have been run and pulled out cash, saying “I obviously have it.” Handing her $40, he called her a ‘dumb white b***h.”
Police said the employee told the couple she would get a manager and have them removed from the establishment. The man then allegedly became agitated, started yelling at her and called her a “dumb cracker.”
Another employee came to the golf stall and asked the man to calm down, police said. At that point, the woman allegedly struck one of the employees, causing her to fall. When other employees attempted to intervene, the man allegedly struck her several times on the head.
Both employees had visible injuries, the report said, and one suffered a black eye and a broken tooth.
Both suspects tried to flee the scene but were apprehended.
And in Amarillo, Texas, a Blue Sky restaurant employee had to undergo surgery after a fired employee struck her with her car.
Dawn Renteria was in the parking lot of the Blue Sky restaurant trying to diffuse a situation with an employee who had just been fired on Friday.
According to Renteria’s sister, Kaytlyn Allen, on a GoFundMe page for Renteria, another employee at the restaurant got into a fight with two other employees, throwing objects at them and threatening them. The irate employee was terminated and asked to leave.
Later, the terminated employee returned to the restaurant and went through the drive-thru, brandishing a knife and threatening to kill employees, she said. He was asked to leave again, but kept returning throughout the night to threaten and harass employees.
Finally, he approached employees taking out the garbage and got into an argument with them. As things escalated, the terminated employee got in his truck and drove it into a group of employees. At the time, he didn’t strike anyone, but instead threw the truck into reverse and attempted to hit a second group of employees. Allen said Renteria disbursed the group of employees but could not make it out of the way of the oncoming vehicle in time and was pinned between the suspect’s truck and a van behind her.
Allen said that Renteria had surgery to stop internal bleeding and had suffered several broken bones.
Amarillo Police said they have the name of the suspect but had not located him as of press time.
Since the onset of the pandemic, employee attacks have seemed to have been on the rise. A number of employees have been beaten or killed over mask mandates set as store policy. In July, Walmart and several other big box retailers instituted mandatory mask policies but issued statements less than a week later saying they would not enforce them because they wanted to prevent confrontations between angry customers and employees.
Anti-mask advocates violently confronted employees starting in May when a customer shot a Michigan Family Dollar security guard after being asked to wear a mask.
In other incidents, employees have been targeted over customer service issues. In one case, in Parma, Ohio, Daja Tucker, 24, crawled through a McDonald’s drive thru window and attacked three employees because she didn’t get a cookie.
Earlier this month, Parma Municipal Judge Timothy Gilligan, sentenced Tucker to 90-days in jail, probation upon release and anger management classes.
“It’s truly shocking,” Gilligan said according to WJE TV. “You spit on one employee during this pandemic. And what’s the reason for the attack? You didn’t get your cookie?”
Tucker claimed she was drunk at the time.
“McDonald’s was contributing to the community and these kids were working and doing that,” the judge said. “And because you didn’t get a cookie you come through the window and do this, absolutely inexcusable, saying I am drunk doesn’t excuse this.”