Three women have been accused of attacking a 17-year-old restaurant hostess in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because they are angry that their large group could not all sit together because of social coronavirus policies, said the police.
The incident occurred Sunday after a large group of women entered a Chilean restaurant and were asked to sit at the same table, Baton Rouge police said in a news release.
“The employee advised the team that due to social flight requirements, the business only allowed six at a table,” the release said.
The employee was then physically assaulted by several people in the group, police said. He was treated at a local hospital for his injuries.
Three of the women, Tammy Dabney, 48, Rodneka Dabney, 27, and Erica Dabney, 46, all of Baton Rouge, were arrested Thursday in connection with the incident, police Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said.
Tammy Dabney faces charges of aggravated second-degree battery. Erica Dabney and Rodneka Dabney face charges of disturbing the peace and simple battery.
It is not clear if any of the three have lawyers. Attempts to reach the three suspects on Friday were not immediately successful.
Coppola said the anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers helped lead to arrests and that the investigation is ongoing.
A request for comment at the Chilean media relations office did not receive an immediate response.
Police did not identify the Chilean worker, but identified her in a GoFundMe campaign as Kelsy Wallace.
Wallace was not available for an interview on Friday, but his aunt Lorraine Williams, who started GoFundMe, said her niece was haunted by the attack.
“Emotionally he was a wreck,”; Williams said in a phone interview on Friday. “She has many nightmares and fears.”
Wallace began to notice a behavioral disorder as he showed signs of anxiety, Williams said.
“She doesn’t want to be alone,” Williams said, adding that Wallace had difficulty sleeping at night. “He just fell asleep this morning.”
The aunt said the attack occurred after Wallace refused to sit with a party of 13 at the same table because the per-table limit of the restaurant was six due to coronavirus.
Wallace, a senior high school, had to have stitches above the eye after the incident and had a piece of her hair pulled out, her aunt said.
Wallace told People that a woman in the customer group pushed him, and pushed him back.
“I was kind of fighting for my life,” Wallace told the magazine. “I was really scared, calling for my mom.”
He said he did not plan to return to his work, saying the incident “really took an emotional toll on me; not only physically, but also emotionally.”