A teenage hostess at a Chili’s in Louisiana was reportedly assaulted by a large group of women after attempting to enforce her restaurant’s social-distancing guidelines.
Kelsy Wallace, 17, claims the large party of women visited the Baton Rouge restaurant on Sunday, but requested a table that could accommodate their entire party. Wallace informed them that this wouldn’t be possible, as her general manager forbids seating any parties larger than six at the same table.
Instead, she offered to divvy up the party at separate tables, but the women — there were either 11 or 13 of them, according to separate reports — soon became “increasingly upset” by this idea, WBRZ reported.
Then, one of the women pushed her, she says.
“And when she pushed me, all I knew was to push her back,” Wallace told the outlet. “I reacted. That’s when her and her daughters, they all came. And they’re grown women.”
Wallace claims that multiple women in the party then began “beating” her as she attempted to fight back. During the altercation, Wallace says the hair on the back of her head was yanked out, leaving her with a bald spot. One of the assailants even grabbed a “Wet Floor” sign and hit her in the face, causing a gash above her eye that would later require stitches in the emergency room.
“As I’m laying [in the emergency room], this keeps replaying in my head. I couldn’t believe that. I couldn’t believe I’m trying to work and this happened to me,” she told WBRZ.
The women dispersed the restaurant before police arrived, but authorities were reportedly provided with surveillance footage of the attack. A representative for the Baton Rouge PD was not immediately available to confirm whether any of the assailants had been apprehended as of Wednesday, but told Fox News that the investigation “remains ongoing.”
The manager at the Baton Rouge restaurant later released a statement to WAFB, apologizing for the incident and vowing that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
Wallace, meanwhile, told the outlet that she will not be returning to work at the restaurant. She’s also upset with her managers for not intervening sooner, or attempting to stop the assailants in any way.
“I mean, they could have locked the doors until the police came,” Wallace told WBRZ.
A representative for Chili’s or its parent company, Brinker International, said in a statement that they are “disappointed by the incident” and have tried to contact Wallace, though she has not responded.
“We care deeply for every ChiliHead and are disappointed by the incident that took place at our Baton Rouge Chili’s on August 9,” reads a statement provided to WAFB. “We do not tolerate violent behavior in our restaurants, and are taking this incident very seriously as the safety and health of our Team Members and Guests is our top priority.
“Following this unprovoked attack, we immediately provided medical attention to our Team Member and called the local police department who is looking into this situation. We have made several attempts to contact the impacted Team Member and her family since the incident to provide support, but unfortunately have not received any response.”