Three women from Texas were taken into custody Thursday after they assaulted a New York City restaurant worker who asked them for proof of COVID-19 vaccination, police say.
Video obtained by WNBC shows a hostess at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan being attacked by the women. The hostess had asked the Texas tourists for their vaccine proof, which is a part of New York City’s new protocols that recently went into effect.
The hostess stand nearly toppled over during the tussle outside the restaurant, video shows. The 22-year-old was punched and slapped but declined medical attention, WCBS reported.
A 44-year-old woman, her 21-year-old daughter, and a 49-year-old woman were apprehended at the scene, WABC reported. Their charges were not publicly disclosed.
A spokesperson for Carmine’s said it is “shocking and tragic” to see one of its employees assaulted for complying with the COVID-19 protocols.
“Our focus right now is caring for our employee and the rest of our restaurant family,” the spokesperson said. “We are a family-style restaurant, and this is the absolute last experience any of our employees should ever endure and any customers witness.”
People 12 years and older are required to show they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter a New York City restaurant. Restaurants that do not comply could be fined $1,000.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase penalties for assaulting restaurant workers and to increase awareness of the city’s vaccine requirements.
“Assaulting a restaurant worker for doing their job is abhorrent and those responsible must be held accountable,” Rigie said in a statement to McClatchy News.