NEW YORK (PIX11) — A restaurant owner whose employee was involved in an altercation with diners last week released additional security cam footage. Jeffrey Bank, the owner of Carmine’s in Manhattan, says the video shows the moments leading up to a fight between tourists and a hostess that’s been making headlines since last week.
The release of the footage comes after attorneys for the three tourists facing charges told the New York Times that the hostess said their vaccination cards were fake and used a racial slur. “In the full footage that was made available to the New York Times, a journalist depicts a Carmine’s hostess harassing and taunting [the women]—which witnesses have detailed as being racially motivated,” attorney Justin Moore said in a statement. “Carmine’s has failed to release this footage and continues their trend of sweeping their employee’s racist and egregious behavior under the rug.”
Both Carmine’s attorney and Bank deny the claims, and hoped the new video offers more insight. The owner claimed the attack was “entirely unprovoked,” despite what the women’s lawyer has said.
Bank says the footage shows the restaurant staff welcome the women, who were ultimately part of a larger party of nine people, and later welcome another three people from that party. The five women and one man showed their proof of vaccination and were seated as they arrived, the owner said.
According to the owner, three men who showed up later to join the group did not have vaccination proof and were told by hosts that they could not join the party inside, due to New York City’s new indoor vaccination mandate for many restaurants and businesses.
The full security video has no audio, so any comments or conversations between the individuals remain unclear. It shows the women, who had already been seated, come back outside to speak with several hosts multiple times after the men were denied entry.
Carmine’s says that the women tried to argue with the staff and convince them to let the men join them inside. At one point in the footage, the 24-year-old hostess—who would later be assaulted—can be seen clapping her hands as she speaks to group. Another employee appears to pull her back and pat her shoulder as if to calm her down.
More words seem to be exchanged between the group and the host, who is Asian American, before the other employee again grabs the host by the arm and pulls her inside the establishment. According to the restaurant owner, later on, as the six guests were again walking back inside the restaurant, they passed the host who was heading back out to the host station on the street.
Whether anything was said between the women and the employee, the footage shows at least three of the customers turn right around and rush back outside. Almost immediately, one of the women confronts the host, appearing to lunge at her.
“When my employees mess up, I hold us accountable. But when my employees are attacked, I will defend them to the limit,” Bank said. Adding that the new video “makes clear Carmine’s staff acted appropriately and professionally.”
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