COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — A Popeyes worker recorded throwing awoman onto the pavement outside a restaurant in Tennessee has been charged withfelony aggravated assault.
News outlets report 29-year-old Deriance Ra’Shaiel Hughes was arrested Friday. The woman’s attorney, Rocky McElhaney, tells The Tennessean that his 55-year-old client remains hospitalized with a shattered elbow, six broken ribs and a broken leg. He declined to publicly identify her until authorities do so.
Video shows people wearing Popeyes uniforms racing after heras the woman leaves the restaurant in Columbia last week. One person punchesher, and then Hughes is seen grabbing her from behind, raising her into the airand throwing her onto the parking lot. Another uniformed person is seencheering.
McElhaney said his client just wanted a refund after beingdouble-billed for her meal of chicken tenders, corn and apple pies.
She called the manager, who told her to come back to therestaurant with documentation in order to get a refund, McElhaney said.
“When she got there she was treated with hostility andanger from the manager,” McElhaney said. “There were words back andforth.”
A separate video circulating on social media shows a heatedexchange between the woman and an employee behind the counter. Another man canbe heard telling the woman, who is white, “You are in the wrong placesaying the n-word.”
McElhaney said the woman denies using a racial slur, butsaid “my client was called an ugly broke-down cracker.”
Neither video posted online appears to have captured anyracial slurs.
“If she said something she should not have said inretaliation and the heat of the moment, we do not condone that and she regretsthat, but it does not give someone the right to break somebody’s body almost inhalf,” McElhaney said.