17-Year-Old Chili’s Hostess Reportedly Attacked By Group Of Adults For Enforcing COVID-19 Guidelines

Written by @kristenshylin_

A teen hostess at a Chili’s in Louisiana was reportedly attacked on Sunday while enforcing the company’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“I was just trying to follow the rules and make sure that I wasn’t getting in trouble … This is just overwhelming; I still can’t believe this happened to me of all people,” Kelsy Wallace said as she reflected on the attack.

According to PEOPLE, the Baton Rouge Police department issued a statement saying the altercation transpired when the teen, Wallace, attempted to seat a large group of women.

Wallace told PEOPLE things became physical when she refused to seat a party of 13 women together at the same table due to the restaurant’s COVID-19 policy of no more than six people at one table. 

“She pushed me, and I pushed her back,” Wallace said, speaking of one of the women in the group. “And they all attacked me. I was kind of fighting for my life. I was really scared, calling out for my mama.”

The student told WAFB9 that one woman from the group hit her in the eye in a wet floor sign.

Wallace’s grandmother, Lorrain Byrd said she could not believe that grown women would fight a “17-year-old child at her job, who’s trying to get her graduation things together so she can go off to college.”

Wallace, a senior, dually enrolled at Broadmoor Senior High School and Career Technical Education Center, was taken to the hospital after the encounter where she received treatment for her injuries. 

In addition to Wallace getting five stitches above her eye, she also sustained scratches, broken nails, and hair loss from the attack.

Because of the negative impact, Wallace said she would not be returning to her job.

“It really has taken an emotional toll on me, not just physically, but emotionally as well,” she said.

Summer Miller, The general manager at the Chili’s location, confirmed that the restaurant is working closely with the police to seek justice for Wallace’s assault.

“We are working closely with the Baton Rouge Police Department and trying to make sure they can locate these women and press charges,” Miller told PEOPLE. “They definitely deserve to be in jail for what they did … We are very sorry that it happened. Violent behavior is obviously not tolerated from guests or team members in the building. It is very unfortunate that it took place.”

Lorraine Williams, the victim’s aunt, said her niece has also experienced cyberbullying since the incident.

”She was very scared and embarrassed about what happened,” Williams said. “She is struggling. Her world turned upside down very quickly.”

Wallace’s family created a GoFundMe page to cover Wallace’s future endeavors. But in the meantime, three of the women have been arrested, thanks to anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers. Tammy Dabney, 48, Rodneka Dabney, 27, and Erica Dabney, 46 have been charged in connection to the incident. 

Tammy faces charges of aggravated second degree battery, while Erica and Rodneka are facing charges of disturbing the peace and simple battery.

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