JONESBORO, Ark. – An employee at a local pizza eatery was fired Tuesday and is facing criminal charges after video showed her attacking a diner.
The incident report states a short time after 5 PM, Jonesboro police were dispatched to Uncle Maddio’s Pizza, 2203 Red Wolf Boulevard, to an assault that had already occurred with both parties still on the scene. The officer made contact with a Bono woman who said she has a medical condition that requires her to eat gluten-free food. While her food was being prepared, she noticed it being cross-contaminated with gluten. She spoke up about this to the employee, Alyssa Kashun Hawthorne, 22, of Jonesboro. This made the employee irate, she said.
The victim said she was being verbally confronted by the employee so she pulled out her phone and began recording. When she did this, she said Hawthorne pushed her to the floor and began punching her in the head. The officer didn’t observe visible injuries but the victim’s eyeglasses were broken during the incident.
The officer spoke with Hawthorne, who was still on the scene. Hawthorne said the victim had verbally confronted her over the way she was making the food. According to Hawthorne, the victim became irate and confrontational, pulling out her phone and recording Hawthorne. Hawthorne admitted to the officer this made her angry because she believed the victim had no right to record her*. Hawthorne admitted to shoving the victim to the floor and physically punching her several times in the side of the head, the officer reported.
*This was incorrect. Unless there is an expectation of privacy, video recording another in a public place is a legal act.
Video taken by the victim, and posted to NEA Report News Tips Facebook group, showed the confrontation midway through. Tempers were already at a peak and just a few seconds into the video, a reporter observed the employee attacking the victim. The officer observed the in both the phone video and the surveillance camera footage, he reported.
The video has since been taken down by the victim.
Hawthorne was cited for two misdemeanors: Second Degree Assault and First Degree Criminal Mischief (for the glasses). She was released from the scene on her own recognizance. Her court appearance is scheduled for 1 PM on March 2, 2020.
NEA Report contacted Maddios and spoke to a shift leader Wednesday morning. He confirmed the incident happened the night before and said the employee had already been fired.
“We don’t tolerate that type of misbehavior toward anyone here and fired her over it,” the shift leader said.