Three women have been arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting a New York City restaurant hostess after she asked the group to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 under the city’s new vaccine mandate for indoor public spaces.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) told The Hill that in the late afternoon Thursday, officers responded to a 911 call regarding an assault outside Carmine's Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Police said that the hostess, a 24-year-old-woman whose name has not been released publicly, “reported that she got into a dispute with three unknown females after she requested to see their Covid-19 vaccine card.”
“The individuals struck her multiple times with closed fists,” police added, noting that the hostess “suffered bruises and scratches to her face, chest and arm” and that her necklace broke during the altercation.
Footage obtained by NBC New York and shared on social media appeared to show the women crowded around the restaurant employee outside the restaurant, almost knocking over the hostess stand as staff and bystanders attempted to intervene.
Carmine’s on the UWS says a hostess was assaulted after asking a group for proof of Covid vaccine to eat inside. “It’s a shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job - as required by city policies...” @NBCNewYork after football. pic.twitter.com/xrqZoNm74R— Adam Harding (@HardingReports) September 17, 2021
The NYPD added that it had arrested and charged three women from Texas in connection with the incident: 44-year-old Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 21-year-old Tyonnie Keshay Rankin and 49-year-old Sally Rechelle Lewis.
Each of the women has been charged with assault and criminal mischief, police said.
In a statement to NBC New York, Carmine's said it was a "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."
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer also commented on the incident, tweeting that the alleged actions of the three women were “abhorrent.”
“Restaurant workers are doing their jobs by keeping us safe--we need to keep them safe in turn,” she added.
The assault of the hostess at Carmines while she was doing her job by checking vaccine cards is abhorrent. Restaurant workers are doing their jobs by keeping us safe--we need to keep them safe in turn. https://t.co/NjcBhbaYoN— Gale A. Brewer (@galeabrewer) September 17, 2021
The city’s vaccine mandate for restaurants, gyms and other public indoor activities officially went into effect this week, and any businesses that fail to comply are subject to a potential $1,000 fine.
New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Boosters take a big step forward MORE (D) tweeted Thursday that it was Restaurant Vaccination Day of Action, when mobile vaccine units were placed at restaurants across the city to help boost vaccination rates.
Our incredible NYC restaurants know they help us move forward together. Today we’re teaming up for Restaurant Vaccination Day of Action! We’ll have mobile vaccine units outside restaurants across the city today, so New Yorkers can easily unlock the Key to NYC. pic.twitter.com/iFsVtnE3bO— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) September 16, 2021