Judge Sentences Woman Who Assaulted Restaurant Worker with Job at Fast Food Restaurant

07 Dec, 2023 Liz Carey

                               

Parma, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – A judge has given a woman found guilty of assaulting a food worker the opportunity to work off part of her sentence by working at a fast food restaurant.

Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy Gilligan found Rosemary Hayne guilty of throwing her food order at a Chipotle worker in September. Hayne had been charged with one count of assault.

“You didn’t get your burrito bowl the way you like it and this is how you respond?” Gilligan said during sentencing. “This is not real housewives of Parma. This behavior is not acceptable.”

Hayne was filmed at the Parma Chipotle talking to employee Emily Russell who was serving Hayne at the time. Video played during the hearing showed Hayne bring her food order to the counter and slam it down. After confronting Russell, Hayne threw the entire bowl of food into Russell’s face. Witnesses captured the moments on cell phones and released the video to social media.

Hayne told Russell and the court that she was sorry for her actions, and that there was no excuse for her behavior. But she went on to say that she was not happy with the way her food was prepared.

“If I showed you how my food looked and how my food looked a week later from that same restaurant, it’s disgusting looking,” Hayne said.

Gilligan was not impressed with Hayne’s apology.

“I bet you won’t be happy with the food you are going to get in the jail,” the judge said.

Gilligan sentenced Hayne to 180 days in jail and then suspended half of the sentence. Additionally, he said he would give her 60 days of credit for time served if she worked at least 20 hours per week at a fast food restaurant for two months.

Hayne said she planned to take the judge’s offer and get a job at a restaurant.

Russell, who told the judge she quit her job after the incident because of the trauma she endured, told the judge that she felt the sentence was fair.

“She didn’t get a slap on the wrist,” Russell told the court.

Gilligan said he wanted to give Hayne a sentence that would have an impact and hopefully teach her a lesson.

“So I thought, why should the city taxpayers pay for her and feed her for 90 days in the jail if I can teach her a sense of empathy?“ the judge said. “I also hope this deters others from this type of behavior.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have seen an increase in the number of attacks and assaults on retail workers and fast food workers. Customers have been reported to have attacked food workers over long waits, cold food, wrong orders and even the thickness of a slice of tomato.

At one point during the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came out with recommendations for employers on how to keep workers safe, including having safe rooms, teaching workers how to de-escalate situations and having employees deal with customers in pairs.

While the pandemic may be over, the attacks have not subsided.

On Oct. 31, a Latrobe man attacked a worker at the Unity, Penn. McDonald’s because his drink wasn’t made correctly.

Police said Jordan Ripingill, 33, ordered an iced coffee thru the restaurant’s drive-thru. When he received the drink, he parked and entered the McDonald’s, then started shouting at the employees, police said. Bernard Benson, 32, an employee there, tried to rectify the order by refunding Ripingill’s money and giving him a new drink. But he asked Ripingill to not return to the store because of his behavior.

Ripingill then attacked Benson, throwing him to the ground and hitting him in the face. Benson suffered a black eye and cuts to his hands. Ripingill was charged with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, police said.

On Sept. 19, a South Carolina couple started an argument with a fast food restaurant worker over a wrong order that turned violent.

Charleston Police said Aaron Michael Lewis, 27, and his girlfriend, came to the Wendy’s on Folly Road around 11:30 p.m. and said their order was wrong.

When the employees tried to give Lewis a refund, Lewis started a verbal argument with them. Lewis then got out of his car, and punched the drive-thru window. Employees had locked he drive-thru window, but Lewis’ punch caused the glass to break. Lewis then got a baseball from this car and hit the window. Lewis’ girlfriend also got out of the car and swung a broom at the window.

Officials said an employee was hit in the hand and head with something Lewis had thrown at her. The couple then when on to steal money from the cash register.

Also in September, two men attacked a Taco Bell employee after being asked to leave.

Police in Madison, Wis. said two 20-year-old suspect attacked an employee at the Taco Bell Cantina on State Street around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. Police reports said the two suspects could not stay awake, and employees asked them to leave.

Instead of leaving, the suspects got angry and attacked the employee, repeatedly punching him. Police did not report on how badly the employee was hurt. Both of the suspects were taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct.


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    • 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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