Workers Attacked by Customers in Separate Incidents Across Country

27 May, 2024 Liz Carey

                               

Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Los Angeles restaurant employee was attacked this week when a customer said his food was taking too long to come out.

Kevin Oxlaj, a busser and host at Los Angeles’ Wokcano, an Asian restaurant and bar, said he was standing behind the counter when the customer began shouting at the pregnant waitress about his food. Oxlaj spoke up for the waitress as the customer began to walk away.

“I told him, ‘Please don’t scream at my co-worker. She’s pregnant. She can’t be going through all this stress, please show some respect,'” Oxlaj told KABC. “We did tell him that we apologize. We did tell him we are sorry that it took forever.”

Instead, the customer attacked Oxlaj. Video of the event showed the customer removing his jacket during the confrontation and striking Oxlaj in the jaw. While Oxlaj was able to push the man off, the customer attacked again and landed several other hits before another customer was able to break the fight up.

“I felt the rest of the swings,” Oxlaj told local news outlets. “A customer ended up getting out of his table, ran out of his seat and was able to push him out, but as he was pushing him away from me, the guy had me, like, still by the arm … didn’t want to let me go.”

Officials said Oxlaj is off of work as he recovers from his injuries.

In Victorville, Calif., a woman attacked a grocery store employee who accused her of stealing alcohol.

Officials said Ginny Denise Nicholson, 25, was arrested after police said she attacked a Hesperia Stater Bros. store.

Police said Nicholson entered the store on May 15 and hid alcohol inside a bag and tried to leave he store without paying for it.

"A Stater Bros. Markets employee attempted to stop Nicholson as she exited the store, and Nicholson assaulted the employee," the agency said in a written statement.

Police said the female employee was taken to the hospital with a broken nose and cuts.

Nicholson fled the building but was identified and arrested. Her bail was set at $50,000, court documents said.

In North Highlands, Calif., a man was stabbed four times as he tried to stop an assault on a grocery store employee.

Police said a good Samaritan stepped in to break up a fight between a grocery store employee and another customer. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, an employee of the North Highlands grocery store asked the suspect, who is thought to be homeless, to leave the property. The good Samaritan saw the suspect attack the employee, and attempt to drag the employee down.

The man, who asked not to be identified, said he drove to the assault, got out of his car and told the suspect that law enforcement was on the way. The suspect, Aaron Gonzalez, then allegedly grabbed a knife from his car and stabbed him four times.

Gonzalez was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Police said he was arrested a short time later and taken in to custody. The employee was not injured.

And in Spokane, a woman was accused of attacking a teen employee of Plato’s Closet after she allegedly tried to steal hundreds of dollars-worth of clothing during a sale.

Police said during the sale, one of the women wanted to go into a dressing room, and was told that she couldn’t go into the changing room with accessories. Employees told her they would hold the accessories while she tried on the clothes.

When the woman refused, employees insisted, and the woman started screaming at people, then ran for the door. When a teen employee tried to stop her, she assaulted the employee. Surveillance video showed the woman, Chelsie Castagna, attacking the employee.

Other employees said the employee was physically alright but shaken up after the incident.

Castagna was arrested and charged with robbery.

Beth Roman, the Plato’s Closet owner, said the location has lost close to $30,000 in merchandise from theft.


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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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