Google Maps Carmine’s restaurant in NYC
The hostess at an Italian restaurant in New York City was attacked Thursday by three tourists from Texas after she asked for their COVID-19 vaccination cards, a requirement to dine in city restaurants.
In a video shared on social media, three women — identified as Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 44, and Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 21, of Humble, Texas, and Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, of Houston — are seen arguing with the hostess of Carmine’s on the Upper West Side before repeatedly punching the 24-year-old. Bystanders and staff broke up the fight, which left the hostess bruised and scratched up, and the women broke her necklace, police told The New York Times.
The three women were arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief, and ordered to return for a court appearance. An unnamed patient was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
As of Monday, New York City restaurants are now required to ask patrons for proof that they’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses that fail to do so can be fined $1,000.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Carmine’s called it a “tragic situation.”
“It’s 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,” the restaurant said. “Our focus right now is caring for our employee and the rest of our restaurant family. We are a family-style restaurant, and this is the absolute last experience any of our employees should ever endure and any customers witness.”
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Along with dining in restaurants, people are also required to show proof of vaccination to attend live performances and go to gyms or movie theaters in New York City. Several other cities have begun implementing similar rules, and on Wednesday Los Angeles County said patrons have to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4 to go in indoor bars, night clubs, lounges, wineries and breweries.
As of Sept. 17, 63.4% of the U.S. population — or 210,700,361 people — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 54.2% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Of the population that is eligible for the vaccine, those aged 12 and up, 74.2% have received at least one dose and 63.5% are fully vaccinated.
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