Publix Brawl: Customers Chase ‘Rude’ Man Around Deli At Tampa Publix

Effie Orfanides - Author
By

Sep. 25 2015, Updated 12:18 p.m. ET

A Publix brawl broke out in Tampa, Florida, and the story has gone viral. According to the New York Daily News, a couple of customers started fighting at the deli counter, and at least one person caught the brawl on video using a cell phone.

“The brawl started when shopper Raleigh Harris, 59, was ‘rude’ and used racial slurs toward a deli worker while ordering a chicken wings dinner at a Temple Terrace location Sept. 16. When another deli worker told the customer to calm down, and customer Leon Lightbody confronted Harris, things only escalated,” reports the New York Daily News.

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The Publix brawl involved quite a few customers, all of whom were chasing Harris. Store employees started getting involved, hoping to break up the fight, but it was more difficult than it seemed. Harris was running around the deli, and at least three other customers were running after him.

“[Harris] got really outraged and told (the employee) to mind his f—— business and kinda threw the N-word in there a few times. The guy that was ordering chicken was like running around the deli being chased by these other customers,” explained customer, Jessica Jordan, who witnessed the fight.

The Publix brawl left one man arrested — Mr. Lightbody, 25, was charged with simple battery. It is unclear if police detained or arrested Mr. Harris. Thankfully, no one involved was physically injured.

Publix spokesman Brian West released a statement after being notified of the fight. He assured the public that these sort of in-store fights are “not the norm.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, however, another fight at a Florida Publix was reported back in July. A parking dispute at an Orlando grocery store got pretty heated at the deli counter (which now seems to be a thing for Publix locations in Florida).

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“Edwin Colon, 46, said he was trying to pull into a parking space when a pregnant woman, who was loading her child into her car, left her shopping cart in the open space. Colon said he asked her to move it and she began cursing at him. Donna Bankstahl, who witnessed the argument, told police that Colon was yelling and cursing at the pregnant woman to move the cart. The woman called her husband on her cellphone.”

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Colon was at the deli counter when he was approached by a man, believed to have been the pregnant woman’s husband. The two men ended up getting into a physical altercation, but their fight was broken up by store employees. No one was injured, and police made no arrests at that time.

[Photo by Erik S. Lesser / Getty Images News]

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