Dunkin' Employee in Florida Punches, Kills Elderly Customer Over Racial Slur Confrontation
A Black Dunkin' employee in Florida was arrested after an elderly customer he punched for calling him a racial slur died of his injuries.
Dunkin' employee Corey Pujols, 27, allegedly punched a 77-year-old man on May 4 at a Dunkin' store in the Marathon gas station located south of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida.
Police responded to the area of altercation and found the older man unconscious and bleeding from his head, according to Crime Online.
The elderly customer was in intensive care at the time of his death on May 6. An autopsy report confirmed that he died of a skull fracture and brain contusions, which was caused by blunt trauma to the head.
The Incident Involving Florida's Dunkin' Employee
Corey Pujols told officials that the old man was a regular customer and was "extremely rude" that day. He said the man called him a racial slur.
The Dunkin' employee noted that he asked the old man to report what he said and challenged him to utter the same racial slur, which the man did.
Corey Pujols then punched the man once in the face, which caused the elderly man to fall and hit the back of his head on the concrete floor.
However, the details on the racial slur were not included in the report, Tampa Bay Times reported. The store's surveillance also showed that the customer did not touch Pujols, who is the store manager.
The elderly man was reportedly upset about the service he received at the drive-thru window. Police noted that the man ignored Dunkin' employees' requests to leave and instead went inside the store and argued with Pujols.
Authorities initially arrested Corey Pujols on a charge of battery on a person older than 65. He was released after posting $2,000 bail the following day.
When the elderly man died, police obtained a warrant for Pujols' arrest on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a person older than 65.
The charge was a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Corey Pujols is currently being held without bail after he was arrested again on Friday. The Dunkin' employee has been appointed with a public defender by the court.
A Dunkin spokesperson told Tampa Bay Times that they are deeply saddened by the incident at their franchised restaurant in Florida. However, the spokesperson did not state Pujol's current employment status with them.
Meanwhile, the elderly man's name was not included in the arrest report due to the Tampa Police Department's interpretation of Marsy's Law, a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution.
Marsy's Law aims to protect crime victims. However, it deprives the public of information available.
In 2019, Florida was reported to have recorded 111 hate crime occurrences on its border. More than 48 percent were driven by anti-Black hatred, while 15.8 percent stem from White Bias, The Centers Square reported.
Anti-Hispanic occurrences comprised 14.1 percent of the total. In addition, the same report said that more than 60 percent of the hate crimes motivated by religious bias were anti-Jewish.
Meanwhile, police department statistics revealed that the U.S. had seen a significant increase in Anti-Asian crimes last year across major cities.
Hate crimes in 2020 decreased overall by seven percent. However, hate crimes targeting Asians peaked by nearly 150 percent, according to NBC News. The surge was reported in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Boston.
WATCH: Dunkin Donuts Employee's Reaction to Customer's Racial Slur Turns Deadly - From Fox 13 Tampa Bay
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