UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — A restaurant hostess was only two weeks into her job when three women from Texas allegedly assaulted her when she asked for proof they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Thursday attack left the 24-year-old Carmine’s hostess bruised and scratched. Her necklace was also ripped off. Restaurant owner Jeffrey Bank said she was home resting on Friday.
Bank said Carmine’s has been there for 30 years and, in that time, they’ve asked many people for ID if they want to drink. Now they’re also asking for proof of vaccination status under the Key to NYC rules.
“I just think these people were just off,” he said.
Bank said he’s going to have to hire private security to protect restaurant workers.
Police charged 49-year-old Sally Lewis, 44-year-old Kaeita Rankin and 21-year-old Tyonnie Rankin with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. They were were all given desk appearance tickets and told to return in October.
The New York City Hospitality Alliance sounded the alarm for more to be done to protect restaurant workers.
“We are calling on the city and state of New York to immediately increase penalties for assaulting restaurant workers in New York City in conjunction with enforcement of COVID-19 protocols,” a spokesperson said.
The incident occurred ahead of the first weekend where restaurants would require proof of vaccination for indoor dining.