New York Police Officials confirmed that three Houston women have been charged over assaulting a New York City restaurant hostess after she questioned their COVID-19 vaccine status before allowing them to enter the restaurant.
In a now-viral video, the three tourists are seen pushing through the podium and attacking the hostess at Carmine’s Restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper West side, around 5 p.m. on Thursday. The restaurant has just begun the implementation of the city’s vaccination mandate three days ago.
The assault followed after the 22-year-old restaurant hostess, who is new on the job and has been working in the restaurant for only three weeks, asked the women to show their vaccination proof and ID cards to match before allowing them to enter the premises, ABC 13 reported.
When she questioned if the vaccination cards are real, the visitors felt upset, and went on to attack her and punched her over and over again, injuring two other staff members as well.
The women have been identified as Sally Lewis, 49, Kaeita Rankin, 44, and Tynnoie, 21. According to police, the out-of-town visitors refused to show their ID’s which revealed that the vaccination cards are not legitimate.
“The last 18 months have been surreal for the restaurant industry,” said Alicart Restaurant Group CEO and President Jeffrey Bank. “Everyone has done everything they can to keep our employees and our guests safe, and this is just yet another day, another chapter of crap we have to go through on a daily basis.”
Carmine’s Chef Alejandro Delgado said that the restaurant hostess was very intimidated and was crying after the assault. She was taken to the hospital. Lewis, Rankin, and her daughter Tyonnie were arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief.
The restaurant owner unites with other restaurants across the city in raising awareness and concerns about the implementation of the vaccine mandate. Carmine also hired private security to man the hostess booth for the weekend.
News agency ABC13 tried to contact the three women to hear their side but Lewis and Tyonnie Rankin did not answer their doors, however, Kaieta Rankin answered her phone and said that she is innocent, and she did not attack anyone. She also said that she wants to share her side of what happened but wanted to talk to her attorneys first whom she did not name.
The women were given desk appearance tickets.
The city’s indoor vaccine mandate begun in August making New York the first major city in the U.S. to require COVID-19 vaccination proof to be permitted to eat or drink inside bars and restaurants.
According to the city, the new mandate which impacts 12 years and older doesn’t affect dining but involves almost all public indoor activities such as going to the gym, bowling alleys, movie theaters, concert venues, and more.
The appropriate forms of vaccination proof include the NYC COVID Safe app, the state’s Excelsior Pass, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card, an NYC Vaccination Record, and an official immunization record for those who got the vaccine outside of New York.
New York has started implementing the rule on Sept. 13, penalizing businesses who don’t conform.