A Popeyes employee has been charged with felony aggravated assault after attacking a customer in a parking lot for hurling a racial epithet at employees.
The incident took place at a Popeyes restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee. According to witnesses, Debra Staggs, 55, was trying to get a refund after being charged twice for her $13.11 meal, according to Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, which is representing the woman, Complex reports.
An argument broke out in the restaurant, and several workers asked her to leave the establishment, but before she left, she reportedly called the employees “n****rs.” That’s when Staggs was followed to the parking lot by several employees. Video of the attack quickly went viral showing her being body slammed to the ground
Hughes, 29, has been charged with felony aggravated assault. Staggs reportedly suffered a broken leg, nine fractures in her elbow and six broken ribs. According to the Daily Mail, she has had two operations and needs months of rehabilitation.
Separate footage from inside the restaurant shows Staggs and employees arguing and a man off-camera can be heard saying, “You in the wrong place saying the n-word.”
A racial slur is not heard in the footage and Staggs denies using the N-word.
A spokesperson for Popeyes said: “These actions run completely contrary to our standards and the integrity of our brand. Following an investigation, the franchisee took immediate action and we were informed that the employee has since been terminated. The entire circumstance is highly unfortunate for all involved and we hope to never see this type of behavior again.”