Anti-vaxxers continue to resort to violence despite knowing the outcomes are against them. As states nationwide begin requiring proof of vaccination for indoor activities, including dining, anti-vaxxers are refusing to comply. In a recent incident Thursday, a hostess at a New York restaurant was assaulted after asking three tourists from Texas for proof of their vaccination status.
According to a statement from the NYPD, the victim, a 24-year-old woman, said she “got into a dispute with three unknown females after she requested to see their COVID-19 vaccine cards. The individuals struck her multiple times with closed fists. During the altercation, the complainant’s necklace broke.” The hostess also “suffered bruises and scratches to her face, chest, and arm.”
According to the restaurant’s owner, the hostess began working at the establishment only three weeks before the assault. While the hostess was not identified, the three women included 44-year-old Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 21-year-old Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, and 49-year-old Sally Rechelle Lewis. According to the Associated Press, all three women were charged with assault and criminal mischief; they were given desk appearances and ordered to return to court on Oct. 5.
Video footage of the incident from Carmine’s Italian restaurant has since gone viral. Staff and bystanders can be seen intervening to break up the violence, resulting in minor injuries to at least two of them.
“A physical fight with a person who is doing her job is not OK,” a witness at the scene said.
(WARNING: The Twitter thread below contains graphic violent video, photos, and language that may not be suitable for all readers.)
“It’s a shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job—as required by city policies—and trying to make a living,” a spokesperson for Carmine’s said in a statement.
“Our focus right now is caring for our employees and the rest of our restaurant family. We are a family-style restaurant, and this is the absolute last experience any of our employees should ever endure and any customers witness.”
As a result of the attack, the restaurant’s owner, Jeffrey Bank, said he would add security to the front of house to better protect his staff.
“It’s ridiculous that she’s sitting here saying, ‘Please don’t assault me.’ It’s just surreal,” Bank told the AP. “Of course, we’re going to have security tonight,” Bank continued. “We want everyone to feel safe. Is it necessary? I don’t know, but after last night for sure, we’re going to have it.”
The incident follows New York City’s mandate requiring customers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all indoor activities. While the mandate was announced in August, it went into effect Monday. According to NBC News, New York City was the first city in the country to adopt such measures.
Prior to the mandate, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to push residents to get vaccinated by offering prizes and cash incentives. While inspections and warnings are being issued to ensure the measure is followed, like mask enforcement, ensuring the mandate falls on employees’ shoulders—putting them more at risk of customers refusing to obey safety mandates.
According to The New York Times, the city has conducted 3,733 inspections of indoor establishments and issued more than 1,500 warnings. While no fines have been issued yet, businesses that fail to ask for vaccine cards risk fines beginning at $1,000.
While the city is offering training for restaurant workers on how to handle unruly customers, many say they need more help. Individuals are calling for better protection and harsher penalties for those who violate COVID-19 safety mandates.
“Assaulting a restaurant worker for doing their job is abhorrent and must be punished,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, said. “We’re calling on the City and State of New York to immediately increase penalties for assaulting restaurant workers in New York City in conjunction with enforcement of Covid-19 protocols.”
According to state data, just over two-thirds of New York residents have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.