Thickness of Tomato on Burger Among Reasons for Recent Attacks on Workers

Liz Carey

Fayetteville, NC.. (WorkersCompensation.com) – The increased amount of violence against workers that’s been seen during the pandemic continued this past week, at the hands of unhappy customers and one by a random stranger.

In Fayetteville, N.C., three men attacked and then shot an employee of a pop-up carnival.

Police say that the carnival worker was involved in a disagreement with a man on April 28 that spilled over to the next day. On April 29, three men came to the carnival and attacked the man, police said, before one of them shot him.

The worker was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.

In New York City, an Indian man working as a manager at the Quality Inn in Brownsville was attacked with a hammer in Brooklyn.

On April 26, Sumit Ahluwalia, 32, was working as the operations manager when a man entered the lobby of the hotel, according to video of the incident. Once inside the building, the suspect began to yell at Ahluwalia and other front desk staff, eventually spitting in Ahluwalia’s face.

Ahluwalia said he tried to talk to the attacker, to no avail.

“I came moving back and said, ‘Hey brother, what happened?’ [He said,] ‘You’re not my brother. You’re not the same skin. I don’t like you,’” Ahluwalia told CBS2 in New York.

In the video, the suspect then pulls a hammer out of his pocket and hits Ahluwalia in the head. Ahluwalia suffered minor injuries, including internal bleeding. He believes his turban protected him from more serious injury.

“People should know that these turban guys, we are here to help. We are not here to harm anyone,” he said. “We are also here struggling, doing a job ourselves. Wake up in the morning at 6 a.m., go home at 7, 9 sometimes, and we don’t deserve this.”

On April 27, police arrested 27-year-old Latif Gina, of Brooklyn, and charged him with assault, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

In Bala Cynwyd, Penn., a man assaulted a 7-11 employee over a money order.

Police in Lower Merion said the incident occurred around midnight on May 6. Officials said video shows a man coming into the store.

The owner of the store, Mohammad Rahman, said the man asked the cashier for a $5,000 money order. After the cashier told him the store does not make money orders after 9 p.m., the man exchanged words with the cashier then ran behind the counter where he threw the cashier on the ground and proceeded to kick and punch him.

Rahman said the man asked for his money back, but the clerk said the man never handed him any money to begin with. The cashier pointed to a camera and tried to explain to the man that the transaction was recorded. When the man continued to ask for his money back, the employee pulled out is cell phone to call the owner. That’s when the man attacked.

Police said the man fled the scene in a blue Hyandai SUV.

“It’s pretty brazen. First of all, the action of throwing what he threw off the counter, and then running around behind the counter, where obviously customers don’t go, so obviously we knew something bad was going to happen,” Detective Sergeant Michael Vice told WPVI.

The cashier has some face and arm injuries, but plans to return to work, Rahman said.

In Nashville, Tenn., a woman has been charged for attacking a Walmart employee over a closed checkout lane.

And on May 3, a Florida woman was charged with battery and evidence of prejudice while committing a crime after flinging a Whooper at a Wildwood, Fla., Burger King worker.

Police said 77-year-old Judith Ann Black, of the Villages, was displeased with her sandwich and went to the checkout counter to yell at workers. One of the employees told Black that they “could help her if she would stop yelling.”

Black then began yelling racial slurs at one of the restaurant’s workers and finally threw her Whooper at the worker, hitting her in the back, just below the neck.

Wildwood Police used surveillance video to track Black down. When they approached her, she admitted to throwing the Whopper and to making the racial slur.

“She stated that she was upset about the thickness of the tomato on her sandwich and confronted the victim at the counter,” investigators said. “She stated that she was angry that the victim was not fixing the issue and ‘had the burger in my hand and tossed it at her.'”

After being booked into the Sumter County jail, she was released on $2,500 bond.

The Burger King employee was not harmed.

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