Teenage Restaurant Employee Beaten By Mob Of Customers For Trying To Enforce Social Distancing Rules

Food on a plate at a restaurant.
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A teenage restaurant employee at a Louisiana Chili’s said she was beaten by a mob of angry customers for trying to enforce her employer’s social distancing rules, WAFB-TV reported.

Kelsy Wallace, 17, is a straight-A student who is studying to be an EMT. She had worked at the Chili’s as a hostess since June to try to make some extra money.

However, she has decided to give up her job following an ugly incident involving a group of women who took exception to the young lady’s attempts to merely do her job.

Specifically, Wallace said that a group of 11 women came into her former place of employment asking to be seated together. However, the restaurant’s rules said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the maximum group size seated at one table is six. Wallace said that when she told the patrons that they couldn’t be seated together, they got upset, so she went to get her manager.

Exterior sign of a Chili's restaurant.
  Anthony92931 / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Wallace said that she stood behind her manager as things were talked over, but the group continued to get more and more irate. Then, violence erupted.

“But then one girl come and she just hit me; we just started fighting. And all everybody who they was with just started hitting me, and the lady who pushed me first, she takes the wet floor sign, cocks back, and hits me with it in my eye,” Wallace said.

The Baton Rouge police showed up, but by that time the crowd had dispersed.

Wallace suffered lacerations above her eye, which required stitches, had some hair pulled from her scalp, and had broken fingernails. She has since quit her job.

“I was just trying to follow the rules and make sure that I wasn’t going to get in trouble. Like this is just overwhelming. I just cannot believe that this happened to me of all people,” she said.

In a statement, Chili’s said that the company is “disappointed” by what happened to its team member.

“We do not tolerate violent behavior in our restaurants and are taking this incident very seriously,” the company said.

Wallace is the latest in a growing list of employees who have been subjected to abuse, sometimes even violence, for trying to enforce their employers’ COVID-19 procedures. For example, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, McDonald’s announced that some customers would react with hostility when told that masks were required, and even promised to send its managers to de-escalation training.