A Florida Dunkin’ Donuts employee is behind bars for punching a customer, causing the man to fall back and hit his head in a fatal blow.
Corey Pujols, 27, was working at a Tampa Dunkin’ Donuts when a 77-year-old man came inside the fast food restaurant to complain about the drive thru service, despite the fact he was previously asked by employees to leave, according to WFLA.
According to a spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department, the customer called Pujols a racial slur and Pujols “challenged” the man to repeat the slur. The man repeated the slur, prompting Pujols to punch the man on the jaw, the spokesperson said.
According to the police, the one punch knocked the man to the ground, where he hit his head. Tampa Fire Rescue responded to the 911 call and took the man to the hospital where he died two days later.
Court records show Pujols was arrested the same day the customer died. Pujols is charged with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly or disabled adult with a weapon.
Pujols is currently being held in the Hillsborough County Jail with no bond and the case remains under investigation, according to Tampa police.
While employees at the Dunkin’ had no comment about the situation, a spokesperson sent a statement about the incident to WFLA saying the company is “deeply saddened.”
“The franchisee, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, is fully cooperating with the local authorities,” the statement said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police.”
There is a man, however, who lives in the area of the Dunkin’ and knows both men involved. He told WFLA the incident is shocking.
“(Pujols) was a good guy, he used to open Dunkin’ every morning. He’d offer us free coffee, we’d help with the trash. It’s just surprising he would be the one to do something like this,” the man said.
He added that the elderly customer was a veteran who “was getting up there in age” and “having issues.”
“Two good people, just a bad situation.”
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