A hostess at a restaurant in Manhattan was assaulted by three tourists from Texas after asking that they show proof of vaccine.
The incident took place on Thursday, September 16th, at the Italian restaurant Carmine’s. Earlier this week, New York City’s mandate requiring people to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for indoor activities — like eating at restaurants and attending concerts — officially went into effect.
Per a statement provided by the NYPD, the victim, a 24-year-old woman, said she “got into a dispute with three unknown females after she requested to see their Covid-19 vaccine card. The individuals struck her multiple times with closed fists. During the altercation the complainant’s necklace broke.” The hostess “suffered bruises and scratches to her face, chest, and arm.”
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The three women were later identified as 44-year-old Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 21-year-old Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, and 49-year-old Sally Rechelle Lewis. The Rankins are both from Humble, Texas, while Lewis is from Houston.
All three women were charged with assault and criminal mischief. As The New York Times reports, they were given desk appearances and ordered to return to court.
“It’s a shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job — as required by city policies — and trying to make a living,” a spokesperson for Carmine’s said. “Our focus right now is caring for our employees and the rest of our restaurant family. We are a family-style restaurant, and this is the absolute last experience any of our employees should ever endure and any customers witness.”
New York City announced its vaccine mandate for indoor activities back in August, becoming the first city in the United States to adopt such measures. Since going into effect this week, the city has been conducting inspections of indoor establishments and issuing warnings, but enforcement has largely been placed on the shoulders of employees at these establishments.
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