A 17-year-old restaurant hostess in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said she was attacked by a group of customers for enforcing social distancing guidelines at her job.
According to WBRZ, Chili’s employee Kelsy Wallace said she was at work on Sunday when a party of about a dozen people came in to be seated. After seating six members of the group, she informed the rest of the group that she wouldn’t be able to seat them due to the restaurant's occupancy restrictions.
"My general manager tells us we're not supposed to sit a table over six because of the coronavirus,” Wallace told WBRZ.
The teenager said the group became aggressive and tried to contact Wallace’s supervisor. As the 17-year-old attempted to seek support from her manager, she said she was attacked by the group of adults.
"She pushed me. And when she pushed me, all I knew was to push her back. I reacted,” Wallace said. “That's when her and her daughters, they all came. And they're grown women. I'm 17 years old. They're like, 20, 30, and the woman that pushed me looked like she was 40. So I'm standing there, they're on me, beating me. I'm standing there trying to hit them, trying to get all of them off me. And the lady she takes a wet floor sign and slams it in my eye. And I had blood rushing everywhere.”
Wallace was escorted to the back of the restaurant after the attack with blood flowing from the wound on her face. When police arrived, the alleged assailants had already left the restaurant, per WBRZ.
Wallace was subsequently treated in the emergency room, where she received five stitches near her eye. She said she has a bald spot due to an attacker ripping out a patch of her hair.
Police were able to secure surveillance video from the incident, and a report was filed by Wallace, who said she wants her attackers to be held responsible.
"I want them in jail. I don't think they should get away with this,” she said.
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 471 into law Friday, Eater Chicago reports. The new bill upgrades attacks on retail and service workers from simple battery to aggravated battery and imposes a $2,500 fine.
Pritzker's bill comes after fast-food workers in the state staged protests over coronavirus protections. An employee at a McDonald’s in Chicago told ABC News that she walked out on her shift because the company failed to provide proper workplace protection.