Restaurant worker punched in face by alleged take-out thief in Bronx

CONCOURSE VILLAGE, Bronx (WABC) -- A Bronx restaurant worker is speaking out and recovering after being punched in the face when she tried to stop a robbery.

It happened around 9 p.m. Monday at the Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet in Concourse Village.

Police say the man seen in surveillance video walked out with $70 worth of food without paying for it.

He allegedly threw food at employees when they tried to stop him and even slammed a plate of food against the victim's face.

He returned about 10 minutes later and punched 21-year-old Kiara Batres in the face.

"I said sir, you can't be back here, he just swung and punched me in the jaw," Batres said.



On Wednesday, Batres showed the bruises left behind after the irate customer attacked her while she was working as a hostess.

"It makes me very nervous to come out today and think of having to come back," she said. "It was a lot of shock, I didn't know if I was scared or to get angry."

Batres, who suffers from scoliosis, fell to the ground and said that one moment changed so much.

"I don't think I'm coming back to work, in this area, this happens often where customers are aggressive and demanding," she said.

She said she has worked at the restaurant for a year and had never seen the man before.

Police are asking for the public's help in tracking down the suspect.

Call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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