Woman Who Threw Food at Chipotle Employee Sentenced to Work Fast-Food Job

A woman in Ohio who threw a burrito bowl at a Chipotle worker and was convicted of assault has been sentenced to an unusual punishment that includes working in fast food for two months.

Back in September, during a dinner rush and while a restaurant in Parma was short-staffed, Emily Russell, then the store manager, said she made and then remade an order for Rosemary Hayne.

Ms. Hayne was not satisfied with the final product. In a video shared widely online, she can be seen yelling at Ms. Russell before hurling the burrito bowl at her face.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Ms. Russell, 26, said. “I just blinked and there was sour cream dripping from my hair.”

Eventually, someone called the police, Ms. Russell said.

Judge Timothy Gilligan of Parma Municipal Court sentenced Ms. Hayne to 180 days in jail, with 90 days suspended, court records show.

The judge offered her a chance to reduce her sentence, with a catch — 60 of those days would be suspended if she worked 20 hours a week for eight and a half weeks (or 60 days) at a fast-food restaurant, said Joseph O’Malley, Ms. Hayne’s lawyer.

Ms. Hayne, 39, agreed to take the judge up on his offer, he said. She must complete her time as a fast-food worker by the time she reports to jail in March.

Mr. O’Malley said he believed the sentencing was fair.

“Here’s a lady that’s almost 40 years old, that never had any type of criminal record at all and then has this one bad day,” he said. “I was imploring the judge to not let this one day define her.”

Ms. Hayne has had interviews, but it’s unclear if she had landed a fast-food job yet, Mr. O’Malley said.

The sentencing came as a surprise to Ms. Russell.

“I thought she was going to get a slap on the wrist, but she didn’t. She is going to get to walk in my shoes,” Ms. Russell said.

She said she still thought about that day, when she went to the back of the restaurant to wipe the food off. Her face was red and irritated from the hot food hitting it, she said.

She called her mother, cried and then finished the remaining four hours of her shift, she said. Then she went to a hospital and was released soon after.

Ms. Russell has since left her job at Chipotle.

She said she didn’t feel supported by the chain after working the rest of her shift that night and not getting the next day off.

Chipotle did not immediately respond to comment late Wednesday night.

Now Ms. Russell is working at Raising Cane’s, a fast-food chain founded in Baton Rouge, La., and she hasn’t let the incident sour her view of the food service industry.

“I’ve been in the food industry for nine years, and I love it,” she said. “I just love customers.”

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