A Dunkin’ employee in Florida is accused of fatally punching a customer who allegedly used a racial slur, Fox 13 reports.
Corey Ellis Pujols, 27, of Tampa, was arrested Tuesday (May 11) and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a person older than 65, which carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence. The incident took place May 4 at the Dunkin’ store in the Marathon gas station at 410 S 50th St., just south of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Pujols, who is Black, punched the 77-year-old man in the face after he reportedly used a racial slur and repeated the phrase after Pujols challenged him to do so. Police arrived at the scene to find the elderly man unconscious and bleeding from the head. Tampa Fire Rescue transported the victim to the hospital, where he died two days later.
The store’s surveillance system captured video of the punch. The video shows the customer didn’t touch Pujols, and that the man appeared to hit the back of his head on the concrete floor after Pujols punched him, according to the report.
“We are deeply saddened by the incident at our franchised restaurant in Tampa,” a Dunkin’ spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times in an emailed statement. “The franchisee, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, is fully cooperating with the local authorities. As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police.”