Fast food worker, 19, loses her right EYE after being punched in the face while trying to protect a special needs boy from a thug who was threatening to ‘beat him up’: ‘I don’t regret stepping in’
- Bianca Palomera had been working in the Habit Burger Grill in Antioch when she stepped in
- She spotted a man harassing and threatening a colleague’s brother, who has special needs
- The 19-year-old was punched in the face and rushed to the hospital, where doctors confirmed she would lose her right eye
- Police are still hunting for the suspect after launching a probe into the violent incident
A California teenager lost an eye after she was attacked for defending her co-workers’ brother from a bully in a fast-food restaurant.
Bianca Palomera, 19, was working at the Habit Burger Grill in Antioch on November 12 when she spotted four men harassing a boy who has special needs.
She was punched in the face by one of the men after she stepped in and tried to intervene – telling them ‘it’s not right what you’re doing’.
Speaking to KNTV Bianca said: ‘He was throwing threats and slurs saying that he was going to beat him up.
‘He said, “why does he keep looking his way?” That’s when I stepped in, and I said it was not right.
‘He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face.’
Shocking surveillance footage of the attack shows the man turning to Bianca and punching her in the face.
Bianca Palomera, 19, was working at the Habit Burger Grill in Antioch on November 12 when she was attacked by a customer harassing a boy with special needs
The thug, pictured in a black coat with a brown fur hood, left the store quickly and got into a silver BMW
Multiple customers then join the fray, sparking a brawl before Bianca managed to get away from her attacker.
Footage shows the man, dressed in black with a brown fur hood on his coat can be seen violently lashing out at Bianca as she confronts him.
Another member of staff quickly pulls her away as the man continues to shout and hits a plant off of a countertop.
The man then fled the store with three others, speeding off in a silver BMW – which was also captured on camera.
Bianca was rushed to hospital where she was told that she would lose her right eye, with Antioch Police Department currently making no arrests.
Her family has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the medical costs, with more than $130,000 being raised already.
Bianca has been recovering at home, adding: ‘This is the last thing I would have expected out of anything’
Antioch Police Department have made no arrests. Her family has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the medical costs, with more than $130,000 being raised already
Another member of staff quickly pulls her away as the man continues to shout and hits a plant off of a countertop
A family member posted on social media saying she suffered ‘irreversible injuries that cost her the right eye’.
They added that she was rushed to a nearby trauma center immediately after the incident and underwent ’emergency surgery’.
Bianca has been recovering at home, adding: ‘This is the last thing I would have expected out of anything.
‘I don’t fully regret helping, stepping in. It could have been worse for my co-worker’s brother.
‘I don’t really know what to think. I think I’m still processing it.’
Habit Burger said in a statement: ‘The Habit Burger Grill prioritizes the safety of our team members and customers in our restaurants, and we condemn violence in any form.
‘We extend our full support to our team member as they recover, and we are fully assisting the authorities in their efforts to identify the suspected attackers.’