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Employees Attacked on Job in Separate Incidents

11 Jun, 2024 Liz Carey

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Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A bail bondsman whose co-workers described as a “gentle giant” is dead after an attack by a customer, one of several employees attacked on the job recently.

Kevin Brace, 56, worked at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds in downtown Sacramento, pulling the graveyard shift, when he was attacked at work.

“He wanted to work overnights because he said that people that are in jail… overnight deserve to have a bail bondsman here for them,” Topo Padilla, the co-owner of Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, told media outlets.

Officials said Brace was in the office watching wrestling just before 4 a.m. on June 3, when Jacob Levi Mandell knocked on the glass doors of the store. Mandell asked to use the phone.

Officials said that a fight erupted between Mandell and Brace, and that Mandell dragged Brace onto the street where he beat him to death.

Mandell was one of the business’s customers, Topo Padilla said. But, Padilla said, Brace’s death was not related to Mandell’s prior interactions with the company. Padilla said Mandell was not angry when he approached Brace about using the phone.

“My family has been in this business for over 50 (years),” Topo Padilla said. “This has never happened.”

Police were called to the store for a fight in front of the company. Officials said Brace died at the scene after Sacramento Fire Department first responders tried to save him.

“He made the fatal mistake of going too far to help somebody,” Padilla said of Brace, while calling him a “gentle giant.”

In Florida, a gas station clerk was attacked inside of a locked bathroom by a man with a box cutter.

Police said the clerk was working at a convenience store and gas station in Sanford, Florida, when a man entered the sore.

According to the arrest affidavit, the man, Randal Lee Lawton, 62, had come into the RaceTrac gas station earlier that day, but had returned to buy coffee and cigarettes.

The victim told officers Lawton went to the bathroom, but came out to ask for toilet paper. When the woman entered the bathroom to replace the toilet paper, Lawton also entered the bathroom and locked the door behind them.

Lawton then allegedly put his hand over the woman’s mouth and forced her to the ground, arrest records said. When the woman tried to get away, Lawton allegedly tried to cut her throat.

The woman said she fought back and grabbed the knife, cutting her hand, the report said. When police came to the gas station, they heard her screaming, and broke into the bathroom. Inside the bathroom, they found Lawton standing over the woman with a box cuter in his hand.

“[The woman] was covered in blood and had two deep lacerations to her neck [and] multiple lacerations to her left hand,” the affidavit said. Police said the victim had multiple cuts on her hand, two deep cuts below her chin and was missing a tooth.

Police arrested Lawton, and the woman was taken to the hospital. Lawton is being held on $55,000 bond, and his arraignment is scheduled for July 23.

In Carbondale, Ill., police arrested a woman June 3 after she reportedly attacked an employee.

Carbondale Police said they arrested Kodi Colbert, 33, of Carbondale, for aggravated battery and criminal damage to property after they were called to a store for a report of an assault. Officers said when they arrived on scene they found an employee who had been attacked. Colbert was identified as the main suspect, even though she had left the scene, and later arrested.

And in Dallas, police are trying to find the woman who allegedly attacked a restaurant worker.

Police said the incident happened on April 11 at the Burger King on Lancaster and East Ledbetter in Oak Cliff. Video of the incident showed the woman hopping over a barrier and stealing food before attacking the employee.

"She didn't take money, so she was trying to steal some food and then that's when they intervened and said, hey, you can't steal this food, and then she ends up taking some property off the ground and leaving," Dallas Police Detective Darren Burch said.

Police said the woman is a frequent customer of the restaurant and they are seeking help identifying her.

"I need somebody to say, hey, we recognize this person and either point her out to me or get me in touch with her or her contact me herself and say, hey, here's what happened and let's figure this out," Burch said.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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