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Three Texan tourists accused of assaulting a hostess at an Upper West Side restaurant for questioning their COVID-19 vaccination cards say they were racially profiled and demand that the hostess – who they claim was the aggressor – be fired.

“This hostess clearly has anger management issues and unfortunately her assault and violence has led to something for which three black women are being punished,” Texas civil rights attorney Justin Moore told About the incident Thursday afternoon at Carmine’s house.

A Carmine’s lawyer unequivocally denied the accusation of the Texas women.

“Any claim that they have been racially profiled is a complete fabrication, fallacious and utterly irresponsible,” said lawyer Carolyn Richmond.

Police said the three women attacked a 24-year-old hostess, believed to be Asian, at Carmine’s on Broadway near 91st W.

Moore claims the three women were already seated inside and ordered drinks when the “arbitrarily” and “wrongfully” hostess began to question the validity of their vaccination cards.

The hostess “refused to help these women and became hostile to them,” Moore said in a press release Friday night. “The injuries she sustained were caused by her physical restraint by other Carmine’s staff after being arraigned on charges of racial discrimination, which she took offense to. “

The three women – identified as Kaeita Rankin, 44, her niece Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, both of Humble, Texas, and Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, of Houston – were issued assault appearance tickets and released. They are expected to respond to charges in Manhattan Criminal Court on October 1.

Moore said the hostess was rude to Rankin and his group. When they decided to leave, the N word was dropped and the hostess “rushed” at Rankin, sparking the fight, he said.

“The hostess is apparently poorly trained to handle patrols and has obvious issues with black women and has a contempt for women of color,” Moore said.

Cell phone video of the clash shows Texan tourists grappling with the young woman, nearly knocking over the restaurant’s hostess counter in the process. A witness and a member of restaurant staff were seen transporting one of the tourists to the scene.

The hostess was treated on site but was not seriously injured, Carmine owner Jeffrey Bank told the New York Daily News on Friday.

“She is extremely shaken up,” Bank said. “It’s inexcusable, ridiculous.”

Moore identified Kaeita Rankin as a Texas businesswoman with a doctorate. in pharmaceutical sciences. Lewis is his assistant, according to Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter NY, which helps the Rankin family.

“(They) were racially profiled at Carmine’s in Manhattan,” said Newsome, who plans to hold a protest outside Carmine’s on Monday. “The police showed up and arrested Dr Rankin instead of arresting the person who assaulted her and those she was with.”

Rankin and her group returned to Texas, where she encouraged her community to get the vaccine, Moore said.

“The fact that people are using vaccination ID cards as a proxy to justify hostess bad acts only insults and undermines policy,” Moore said.

A call to Rankin was not returned.

The city this week began enforcing a vaccination warrant requiring people to prove they were trapped in order to participate in a number of indoor activities in the five boroughs. This includes eating out, drinking in bars, exercising, going bowling, and watching a movie or TV show.

Non-compliant businesses are fined $ 1,000 for the first violation, $ 2,000 for a second violation and $ 5,000 per incident for subsequent violations. City officials said the warrant would help keep New Yorkers safe and ward off anxiety over the pandemic.

Attempts to reach the bank and the hostess to comment on Moore’s claims were unsuccessful on Saturday.


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