The owner of a New York City restaurant that was trashed by three young women who ran amok over an extra charge for dipping sauce said that the “destructive animals” caused $25,000 in damages and terrified his staffers during their drunken rampage over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
It was the early hours of Sunday morning when the incident went down at the Bel-Fries eatery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in an area nicknamed Hell Square for its nightlife and rowdy crowds, The women who didn’t want to pay the additional $1.75 for the sauce caused an ugly scene, throwing items at employees before they climbed over the counter.
In the ensuing chaos, two employees were hit in the head with bottles as the trio went wild with the store alarm blaring in the background, the destructive temper tantrum by the trio was captured by security cameras and went viral on social media.
Just another typical day in NYC pic.twitter.com/vcnz2YQnp0
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) July 6, 2022
“Two of my employees were hit in the head with glass bottles,” said Annalee Schlossberg, the owner of Bel-Fries who wasn’t in the restaurant at the time. “It’s a nightmare, honestly.”
“There’s something going on with them, and it didn’t have to do with us, clearly, because it was over sauce. That shouldn’t call for that behavior,” Schlossberg told CBS New York.
“As mad as these women were and as crazy as they were acting, I think that was egging them on,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur said of the crowd.
(Video: YouTube/CBS New York)
Schlossberg told the New York Post that in addition to terrorizing her employees, the trio’s rampage resulted in $25,000 worth of damages to the restaurant.
“Not only were [the women] crazy, destructive animals, but everyone just stood by and watched,” she said, expressing her dismay that nobody intervened on behalf of the staffers. “Everyone outside was recording and laughing and cheering on the girls, which is the most disgusting part.”
“I felt so angry because I couldn’t do anything. These are ladies,” the Post quoted Bel-Fries cook Rafael Nunez who recorded the incident on his phone. “I had knives in the shop, but I can’t use those. Recording was the only way to defend myself.”
Another employee, 33-year-old Maria Baez, “who needed a staple in her head after being struck by one of the tablet cash registers, said she hasn’t left her house since the incident,” according to the Post.
“I’m barely five feet tall. I couldn’t defend myself,” Baez said. “I’ve never felt so cornered and attacked. My coworkers couldn’t jump in otherwise the whole crowd may have come at them.”
“I told Annalee I’m still afraid,” she added. “I don’t think I’ll ever be the same,” the outlet reported.
Police arrested 27-year-old Pearl Ozoria, 25-year-old Chitara Plasencia, and 23-year-old Tatiyanna Johnson, who are all from New York City, on robbery and criminal mischief charges.
“Ozoria allegedly punched the cop arresting her in the face and was slapped with additional charges of assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct,” the New York Post reported. “Plasencia and Johnson were each also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.”
The restaurant which on its website boasts of being “the opposite of places like McDonald’s, where the fries are always the same,” was closed for several days after the incident, reopening on Thursday.
“My number one priority is making sure all of my employees are not only physically okay but mentally okay. I know they’re suffering from traumatic shock from the event,” Schlossberg said.
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