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Women Attack Walgreens Employee with Gas, Amid Continuing Attacks on Employees

23 Oct, 2023 Liz Carey

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Nashville, TN ( – Two women were arrested Oct. 16 after allegedly throwing gasoline on a Walgreens employee, the latest in continuing attacks on workers on the job across the country.

Officials in Nashville, Tenn., said the two women, Tochaka Waters and Latavia Waters, were both charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Tochaka Waters went into the Murfreesboro Pike Walgreens on Sept. 3 and began taking items off the shelf in an attempt to steal them.

An employee in the store tried to intervene and told her to leave, police said. While Latavia Waters argued with the employee, Tochaka Waters went to her car, got a gas can, and came back into the store. Tochaka then poured gasoline on the employee, according to the arrest report. The pair then started to assault the employee resulting in minor injuries.

Both women were booked into the Murfreesboro jail early on Monday morning, but were released on bail. Police said that Tochaka Waters was not charged with shoplifting.

In Champaign, Ill., an aquatic center employee was attacked over a beverage ban.

Officials said the Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help over an aggravated battery that happened last month.

Police said they were called to the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center in Urbana for report of an assault. The responding officers said the suspect had become agitated when she was prohibited from bringing outside beverages into the center. Police said the suspect made threatening comments and used inappropriate language around the other members of the swimming facility.

When she was asked to leave the property, the suspect pushed an employee, threw her stainless-steel cup in the employee’s direction and threatened to fight the employee. She fled the facility and police are looking for her. Police said the woman was wearing a black swimsuit cover, black sandals and large sunglasses with clear stones when she was last seen in her bronze SUV leaving the scene.

In Oklahoma City, Okla., police are investigating an increase in violent outbursts and attacks on employees at the Metropolitan Library System there. Oklahoma City police released body camera video of the recent attacks.

Police said the incidents included one on August 29 when a man walked into the Ralph Ellison Library and threatened to kill people. Afterwards, the man caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Body cam video of the scene showed a trail of destruction left behind by the man. The man flipped tables, bookshelves and displays and destroyed computers, causing $8,400 worth of damage. Security guards on duty said the suspect “held a chair in a baseball stance,” and threatened to hurt people.

Police pepper sprayed the man they identified as Tony McCray, 34. He was arrested and charged with a felony count of malicious injury to property.

Just two weeks later, another man attacked at employee at Capitol Hill Library. Police said the 35-year-old man was using a computer when he began to curse loudly. When a staff member walked over to help him, the suspect repeatedly punched the employee in the face, knocking him unconscious.

Police later found the suspect hiding behind a tree. He was arrested for assault.

The library said it is taking steps to protect employees and guests.

"We have had three guests' violence on staff events over the last 11 years,” the library said in a statement. “It has been over 5 years ago since the last violent guest attack on one of our staff members. It is an exceedingly rare event to happen in our libraries as millions of guests have visited our libraries yearly over the past 11 years without incident. There have been no violent attacks on staff since these events."

Since the attacks, the library has reprogrammed their phones to include an automatic 911 call button.

And in Los Angeles, police have arrested a suspect in connection with the robbery of a Chinatown shop that resulted in an attack on an elderly employee.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said they arrested 31-year-old Courtland Thornton in the crime.

On Sept. 14, Thornton was seen on surveillance footage entering Angie’s Boutiques in downtown Los Angeles. Once inside, video showed Thornton assaulting the elderly employee and removing items from behind the store shelves. When she tried to stop him, the suspect is seen on video throwing the woman to the ground and hitting her before he flees the store.

"He forced his way and pushed one of our employees down, an elderly woman, and he reached into the window, stole one item and jumped over the counter and stole the other item," the store's owner told FOX LA in September. "And on the way out she was kind of tugging on his shirt and he just punched her right in the face. I mean, it's so disgusting."

The employee was hospitalized for her injuries, police said. Thornton escaped with an unknown amount of merchandise and money. He was being held on $80,000 bail.

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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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