Fine Fare Employees, Customer Arrested For Assault After Altercation on Saturday
Grocery shopping can be a mundane chore. But it was anything but routine at the Fine Fare at 545 Grand St. this past Saturday. A dispute between a customer and two cashiers led to a physical confrontation and the arrests of three people on misdemeanor assault charges.
We first heard about the incident from a longtime local resident who was in the store when the altercation occurred around noon on Saturday. The witness, who has asked to remain anonymous, said the customer was making a purchase at the first checkout stand. They began arguing about the amount she owed (there was apparently a discrepancy over 75 cents). Voices were raised and, according to the witness, the employee made derogatory remarks regarding the customer’s disabled daughter, who was standing at her side. The customer walked away and was reportedly followed by the cashier, who forced her to the ground and, the witness said, began assaulting the woman. Another employee reportedly joined in a few moments later. By the time it was over, around eight people were involved in the scuffle. After customers called 911, officers from the 7th Precinct arrived and began trying to sort out what happened.
A police spokesperson said two employees as well as the customer were arrested and face 3rd degree assault charges. They will be required to report to criminal court at a later date. Yesterday afternoon, we spoke with Frank Diaz, a Fine Fare manager. He was not present during the altercation but said he spoke with one of the police officers who responded. Diaz said the grocery is making surveillance video from Saturday afternoon available to investigators. Diaz told us employees are instructed to avoid verbal confrontations with customers. What happened on Saturday obviously went well beyond a “war of words.” He said at least one of the employees “won’t be working here anymore.”