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Woman Who Threw Food at Chipotle Employee Can Reduce Jail Time by Working at Fast Food Restaurant, Judge Says

A Parma woman has been sentenced to work fast-food at least 20 hours a week to reduce her jail sentence after attacking a Chipotle employee.

Image: John Hanson Pye/Shutterstock

Everyone loves a good spicy Chipotle burrito, but for Rosemary Hayne, things got a bit too heated after a trip to the fast-food restaurant chain in September.

During a court session on Nov 28th, Hayne admitted to hurling her order at a cashier. Instead of ending up behind bars for the assault, Hayne could end up behind the drive-thru window. 

In exchange for working at least twenty hours a week at a fast-food restaurant, Hayne could have two months taken off of her three-month jail sentence, according to Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy Gilligan.

During her hearing on November 27th, Hayne apologized for attacking Chipotle Store Manager Emily Russell. Hayne claimed her actions resulted from her dissatisfaction with how her food was prepared. 

“I bet you won’t be happy with the food you get in jail.” Judge Gilligan said in a video of the court appearance from Fox 8 News. 

A Chipotle customer hurled her hot burrito bowl at a store manager. Credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Prokopenko

Hayne had originally received a six-month jail sentence, three months suspended. The judge allowed Hayne to have two months removed from the sentence by working in fast food. Hayne accepted the offer. 

Parma police responded to the original incident at the West Ridgewood Drive Chipotle on September 5th. A bystander had called 911 to report an incident between an employee and a customer. Upon arrival, the victim, store manager Emily Russell, along with several witnesses who had been in line at the time, told authorities Hayne was upset with how her food was prepared and threw it back into the face of Russell. 

Russell was coated in food and sauce and sustained a slight redness on the side of her face where Hayne had hit her with the food, police said. The store manager declined medical treatment, but was visibly shaken by the incident, Parma police Lt. Dan Ciryak said. 

“The manager, who identified herself as the victim, said a customer named Rosemary complained about her food, so she made her order twice to help remedy the situation,” Ciryak said. 

The 911 caller provided a license plate number linked to an address on Snow Road. Police later arrested Hayne at this address. Hayne admitted to authorities that she became agitated when a Chipotle employee had incorrectly made her food, so she threw it back at the cashier. 

Hayne told the judge, “If I showed you how my food looked and how my food looked a week later from that same restaurant, it’s disgusting looking.” 

“You didn’t get your burrito bowl the way you like it, and this is how you respond?” Gilligan said. 

On top of her jail sentence, Rosemary Hayne received two years of probation. 

Rosemary Hayne receives her sentence.
Rosemary Hayne received a three-month jail sentence for assaulting a Chipotle worker. Credit: Fox 8 News

Unfortunately, attacks on service workers are all too common today. According to Pressdemocrat.com, thirty-seven percent of fast-food workers experienced violence, such as racial slurs, physical threats, assaults, and robberies. A staggering forty-three percent of workers reported they were injured on the job. In 2021 alone, there were over seventy thousand violent attacks on workers in the fast-food industry. 

Many employees never receive training on how to respond to violence in the workplace. Generally, their only option is to do what Emily Russel did; wait for someone to call 911 and then hope for the best. Some of these violent attacks are even going so far as to traumatize the workers. 

One report reads, “[Fast-food workers] have been choked by customers, pulled by the hair, grabbed at or pushed, and hit with food or other projectiles. Many more workers describe living in fear as a result of threats from customers or being emotionally shaken by violent incidents they witnessed.” 

No matter where you work, you deserve to feel safe. Hopefully, incidents such as the one involving Emily Russell and Rosemary Hayne will encourage fast-food companies to provide better training, as well as implement more supportive measures to help workers in the aftermath of these violent events. 

Mary Christine is currently studying English and French at Michigan Technological University. She enjoys reading mystery novels, watching horror movies, and spending a significant amount of her paycheck on coffee.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Vicki Stevens

    December 7, 2023 at 2:48 am

    Great job Mary!

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