The owner of a Bronx supermarket is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a mother and her two adult daughters caught on camera beating one of his cashiers.
The wild caught-on-video melee started when one of the daughters entered Food Universe on E. 194 St. near Bainbridge Ave. and rushed 25-year-old cashier Lisbel Rodriguez Luna about 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The crazed attacker landed an overhand slap on Rodriguez Luna’s head as the victim rang up a customer, the video shows. The assailant’s mother and sister then burst into the store and joined the attack.
Supermarket owner Pedro Groico said the mother had harbored a grudge against the worker from the week before.
Rodriguez Luna had been working the register that offers customers cash for their bottle returns when the mother came in and insisted on being cashed out immediately.
“She said ‘I’m in a rush, can you cash me right now?’ But there were two people in front of her,” he said. Luna tried to be nice but wouldn’t let the woman jump the line.
“[The customer] said, ‘I’m going to go get my daughters and come back and you’ll see what happens,” he recalled.
Nothing happened that day but on Sunday the woman came in and remembered the perceived slight. She again confronted the worker to the point that a manager stepped in and tried to calm the woman down.
“She said, ‘No, no. I’ll be back,” Groico said. “She left and the guest’s daughters came in and didn’t say a word, just started punching the cashier.”
After the daughter pounced on the cashier Sunday, her mother, wearing a white headband and sunglasses, immediately joined in with the pair pulling the worker’s hair and raining blows down upon her.
Two store security workers intervened, giving Luna a second to breathe, but while they were distracted by the first two attackers another daughter, wearing a white knit cap and a tracksuit hoodie, reached over the checkout scanner and grabbed the cashier by the hair, pulling Rodriguez Luna’s face down onto the checkout counter, the video shows.
A customer tried to come to break up the violence but the second daughter refused to let go and they began a tug of war with the worker’s hair. After about half a minute the three women retreated to outside the Food Universe, leaving the checkout worker bruised and baffled.
The owner said Rodriguez Luna suffered a black eye and was traumatized by the violence. The attackers are not regulars and the staff had never seen them aside from the two visits.
He’s offering the reward to protect his staff and the neighborhood from the unhinged family trio.
“People are just going crazy right now,” he said. “They feel they can come in and do whatever they want because there’s no repercussions to their actions.”
“We’re asking politicians to send a message loud and clear,” he added. “We need our employees to be considered essential workers like they were during COVID-19. These women are on the frontline.”
Groico said that he would like to see an attack on a supermarket worker to carry a felony-level punishment as it does with subway and bus workers.
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“They could have stomped her and killed her,” he said. “They didn’t come in there with flowers and the nicest intentions. They wanted to hurt her.”
Groico is a member of CAPS, Collective Action to Save Our Stores, which hopes to draw attention to the damage that retail theft and violence wreak on mom-and-pop shops.
He said that his workers battle multiple shoplifters every day.
The NYPD confirmed cops are looking for the attackers but have made no arrests
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
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