Three people were arrested for allegedly assaulting a New York City restaurant hostess on Thursday after she asked a group of diners visiting from Texas to show proof they had been vaccinated before seating them.
Cellphone footage obtained by NBC New York shows a brawl involving several people outside Carmine’s Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. Staff and bystanders intervened to break up the melee after it broke out around 5 p.m. ET, the station added.
The hostess, who has not been identified, was repeatedly punched and her necklace broken, police said.
One unspecified patient was taken to the Mount Sinai Hospital, the New York City Fire Department said, without stating their condition.
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The three suspects, whose ages are 21, 44 and 49, were taken to NYPD’s nearby 24th precinct station house, police said.
The attack comes as New York City this week became to first major U.S. city to require hospitality, entertainment and fitness businesses to ask customers for proof of vaccination to gain access to indoor venues. Any business that fails to comply could face a $1,000 fine.
Carmine’s said in a statement to NBC New York that it was “shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job — as required by city policies — and trying to make a living.”
Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, said on Twitter the incident was “completely unacceptable.”
In a separate tweet she added: “There’s no place for this kind of violence to be perpetrated against our essential workers.”
Marcia Todd, who was dining with her family in Carmine’s during the incident, told NBC New York: “Businesses have a role and the citizens have a role so I think we all have to be responsible and play our part.”
While announcing the plans to require vaccines in August, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “not everyone’s going to agree with this,” but added that the rule was needed to help save lives as Covid cases continue to grow across the U.S.
Just over two-thirds of New York residents have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, official data shows.