Food Service Workers Attacked in Separate Incidents

03 Mar, 2023 Liz Carey


Bronx, NY ( – Food service workers continued to be the target of violent attacks across the country this past week. 

From Massachusetts to South Carolina, police report restaurant workers and grocery store employees suffered at the hands of customers mad about drive thru orders to waiting in line.  

In the Bronx, police said they are looking for a woman who punched an employee at a Food Universe. Officials said the woman had returned some bottles and became enraged when she had to wait to cash them in earlier in the week.  

Video shows that on Sunday afternoon, the woman and at least four accomplices returned to store and attacked a 24-year-old cashier. The woman shoved and punched the cashier repeatedly in the head and body. While the cashier’s co-workers tried to intervene, the woman’s accomplices also punched the cashier.  

A manager at the store told ABC 7 New York that the cashier was traumatized, but not badly injured. After being treated at a nearby hospital, the cashier was released and is recovering at home. The woman suspected of the attack is known to the employees at the grocery store, officials said, and was a frequent customer. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday, despite a $2,500 reward offered by the store.  

In Columbia, S.C. deputies are looking for a man and a woman who they suspect assaulted a restaurant worker on Monday.  

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said a video camera at a Ruby Tuesday caught the attack. In the video, the server was outside of the restaurant on a break. The server told police that she had gone outside after getting into a conflict with customers who had complained about a drink. When she asked the customer how the situation could remedy the situation, the couple responded with foul language, she said.  

Ravenell said the couple followed the server outside and attacked her. Video shows the male customer assaulting the employee first, as the female customer walks up to the server. After the male customer swung at the server, the video showed, the server swung back which prompted the female customer to attack the server and attempt to choke her.  

“This couple is out of control if this is all it takes to act this way,” Ravenell said. 

The server was not seriously injured.  

In Walhalla, S.C., a co-worker attacked a Zaxby’s employee with hot grease.  

Police said that Thomas Lamar Cobb Jr., 49, admitted to getting into an argument with co-workers after he was drinking on the job. Cobb said he knew that he threw something at one co-worker but did not know that it was hot grease. A manager at the fast food restaurant said Cobb attacked two other employees as well.  

According to WHNS, one of the victims said Cobb allegedly grabbed him by the throat and another said Cobb hit them. The worker who was hit with hot grease was taken to an area burn center, with burns. Officials said the employee also had skin missing from his face, eye, hands, shoulder and back.  

Booking records with the Oconee County Sheriff’s office show that Cobb was arrested and charged with two charges of third-degree assault and battery, as well as one charge of high and aggravated assault and battery as well as two counts of third-degree assault and battery. 

And in Lynn, Massachusetts, a 16-yera-old Wendy’s employee is recovering after being shot by a customer in the drive-thru window.  

Officers responded to the fast food restaurant after reports of shots fired there. The worker was working the drive-thru when the bullet entered the building and struck them.  

The worker was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Officials said they are investigating to see if the incident was a drive-by shooting or was targeted.  

"It’s so crazy because it must be just a kid trying to stay out of trouble, trying to work," Yamil Cepeda, who lives nearby, told Boston 25 News of the injured employee. "It’s just a very sad situation, such a young age." 

Hamra Enterprises owns and operates the restaurant and a spokesperson said the restaurant’s focus is on its employees and customers.  

"We are deeply disturbed by this senseless act of violence, and we are grateful to the first responders who acted quickly in this situation,” the owners said in a statement. “We will work with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation."

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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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