In Tampa, Florida, a Dunkin’ Donuts customer was harassing employees, and even used a racial slur after complaining about the lack of service. The 77-year-old man was then punched by a Dunkin’ employee… and died due to injuries sustained. That employee, Corey Pujols, is now facing a manslaughter charge.
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A Single Punch
On May 4, an unidentified Florida man was waiting in the drive-thru of a Dunkin’ store of a Marathon gas station. After feeling the service was inadequate, this Dunkin’ customer began to complain and was asked to leave. Instead, he parked his car, entered the Dunkin’ store, and continued to argue with the employees.
According to the report, the 77-year-old customer — who remains unnamed — is a regular customer but was being “extremely rude” that day. He then used a racial slur when speaking to Corey Pujols, a 27-year-old Dunkin’ employee, who is Black. Pujols asked the man to repeat the slur, which he did, and Pujols responded by punching him square in the face. (The exact slur is not included in the report.) That quick attack proved fatal.
The Shocking Aftermath
After receiving a blow to the face, the irate man fell and hit his head on the concrete floor of the store. He never regained consciousness and after days in the intensive care unit, was pronounced dead on Friday, May 7, at Tampa General Hospital. An autopsy revealed the victim had a skull fracture and brain contusions resulting from blunt trauma to the head. The medical examiner said the death would be ruled as a homicide.
A Dunkin’s spokesperson released this statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the incident at our franchised restaurant in Tampa. 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.”
Pujols was arrested by Tampa police immediately following the violence in the Dunkin’ Donuts, on battery charges. Once the man died, however, that charge was upgraded to aggravated manslaughter of a person older than 65: a first-degree offense that carries a sentence of up to 30 years, according to The Tampa Bay Times. For now, jail records indicate that Pujols is being held without bail and will be represented by a public defender in court.