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Fine Fare Employees, Customer Arrested For Assault After Altercation on Saturday

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Fine Fare, 545 Grand St.
Fine Fare, 545 Grand St.

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.”


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  1. I too had a altercation in fine fare! The manager refused to fire the employee
    Who struck me first! And wanted to prosecute me for defend myself!

  2. I can’t count how many times I went shopping here from a young teenager to a now grown adult. I have had and see grown men make sexual lude remarks to young females and it has happened to me. And the females at the cash registers have such disgusting attitudes. If you are not happy with your job. LEAVE! There are other people who would kill to have a job and gladly take your position.

  3. All of this reporting is true. Not only that, the first cashier struck the customer first–the customer did absolutely nothing. It broke my heart that this poor woman was arrested and taken away from her severely disabled daughter. Fine Fare better look out for what happened to that girl and assume all that woman’s legal fees, because it was entirely their employees’ doing. Also, male employees did nothing but watch, laugh, and then mock fight with each other while laughing. The entire scene was shocking and shameful. We will never shop at Fine Fare again.

  4. Clayton if you are a witness here i hope you have made yourself available to the police. especially if they do not have surveillance video of the incident.

  5. The cashiers and other employees all seem to have some kind of hate issue with certain people. I try not to shop there either and will go out of my way to buy at a real grocery store.

  6. My impression has always been that they are the only supermarket in the area so, in their minds, we (customers) had better take whatever they give us. It is definitely not customer friendly, nor does it seemingly aspire to be. That said, the prices tend to be lower than elsewhere, especially on sales items (though you have to make sure the scanners give you the discount). So, I do most of my food shopping elsewhere – like Trader Joe’s – and come here for necessities. It is too bad; a change in attitude by management could go a long way.

  7. East River Housing Corp. has to replace Fine Fare with another food store. This unwarranted altercation has to be the tipping point. How can Heshy Jacob continue justify leasing space to a bunch of hoodlums who might, just might honor their advertised prices or respect their customers, but more often do not? How can Heshy continue to ignore the violence that has come to characterize the Fine Fare operators?

    I’ve seen a decision rendered by the Department of Consumer Affairs as to how this Fine Fare refused to honor a published price and charged the customer the higher price. If the City’s consumer watchdog says that Fine Fare is a dog, then it’s time for East River to evict Fine Fare or refuse to renew the lease. There are lots of food stores who would serve our neighborhood better.

  8. requested cash back one time while paying with my debit card and the cashier had the nastiest attitude like the money was coming out her pocket

  9. requested cash back one time while paying with my debit card and the cashier had the nastiest attitude like the money was coming out her pocket

  10. This fine fare along with the other one on clinton street suck. They are way over priced and when Path Mark closed they jacked their prices up across the board. They have horrible customer service and the choices are very limited. It’s time to boycott these nasty cashiers and the store they work for.

  11. I feel bad about all this talk of how bad Fine Fare is. i
    live in Seward and use the Clinton
    St branch all the time. I find the prices mostly
    competitive. When I occasionally have to return something they don’t usually hassle
    me even if I’ve misplaced my receipt. In fact when a sale runs out of stock they’ve
    even let me take another brand or size instead for the same sale price…..Now
    the really old CO-OP supermarket, if anyone here still remembers them,
    now THEY were run lousy and had very high prices!

  12. Did you really find Pathmark cheaper? Pathmark had some cheap generic/store brand products, and some good sale prices, but their brand name stuff and their regular priced produce seemed just as expensive to me as Fine Fare. And Fine Fare has pretty good sale prices now and then, too.

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