A lawyer for one of the Texas women who allegedly beat a Carmine’s restaurant hostess in a dispute over the Big Apple’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate says the worker hurled a racial slur amid the “mutual combat.”
The accusation came as new details emerged about what exactly triggered Thursday’s fight — and a Black Lives Matter activist vowed to protest outside the eatery this week.
Justin Moore, the lawyer representing one of the accused Texas assaulters, Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, told the New York Times that the hostess at the Upper West Side eatery used the N-word during the fight — and that she had a “very aggressive” manner.
“The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments and speaking with two of the women. They claim that the N-word is being spewed out,” Moore said, according to The Times.
He labeled the altercation “mutual combat,” claiming the restaurant worker also generally talked in a “very aggressive” manner to the three women visiting from Texas.
“They also heard the hostess say, ‘Yeah, you guys can leave my restaurant,’ or something very aggressive like that,” said the lawyer. “When Dr. Rankin hears that, she turns around and addresses the hostess. She tells her, ‘This isn’t your restaurant. You’re just a staff member here. Please address us with respect.’ ”
But a lawyer for Carmine’s denied that race played any part in the conflict.
“Nothing about this incident suggests race was an issue,” the restaurant’s lawyer, Carolyn Richmond, told the paper in an e-mail.
“The pandemic has added a key responsibility to the host position — insuring the safety and health of all employees and guests by checking for proof of vaccination in compliance with New York City law,” she said.
New York City regulations require people 12 and older to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to dine indoors at restaurants, bars and several other types of venues.
Meanwhile, more details emerged about the cause of the dispute.
While it was originally reported that the scuffle broke out when the women could not show their proof of vaccination or it wasn’t adequate enough, lawyers for both sides now say the issue was with the trio’s male guests’ immunization status.
Newly surfaced surveillance footage viewed by the Times shows the three women being brought to a table in the restaurant after documenting their inoculation against COVID-19. Then three men come to the restaurant to join the women, who were seated, but only one of the men was able to provide proof of vaccination, lawyers from both sides of the conflict told the Times.
The three women left the restaurant to join the trio of men outside — and that’s when the caught-on-video melee erupted.
Disturbing cellphone footage showed the wild incident in which the tourists allegedly attacked the hostess. In the video, one assailant appeared to slug the worker amid the chaos.
“F–k! Oh my God! What the f–k!” the hostess screamed.
The three women were arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief.
“The idea that anyone would become violent as an employee performs this necessary function is anathema to New York, the hospitality industry and New Yorkers in general,” Richmond told the Times, referring to the checking of patrons’ vaccine status. “As all of the women showed proof of vaccination, they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.”
But Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome has announced that he is planning a Monday demonstration outside the restaurant.
“Those Sisters @CarminesNYC had proof of vaccination! That hostess used the N-Word and Threw Blows. @NYPD only arrested the Black Women,” he said on Twitter. “WE AINT HAVIN IT!!! #CancelCarmines We Are At Their Door Monday.”
The restaurant’s owner has blasted the trio of women for the attack.
“Clearly, somebody’s off. It makes no sense,” owner Jeffrey Bank previously told The Post.
“You don’t assault people for following the law. You travel to different states — different states have different rules and regulations, and all our employees are just doing that.”
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