A father punched a manager at a Kosher supermarket in Brooklyn in a wild confrontation that was allegedly sparked when one of the managers chucked a peach at the man's daughter when she wouldn't get off a hoverboard at the store.
Three people were arrested after the brawl broke out at Central Market on Division Avenue in Williamsburg on June 9, police said.
The store erupted in chaos shortly after a 24-year-old woman came into the store on a hoverboard and got into an argument with store managers, according to police. Witnesses told NBC 4 New York a nephew of the woman had been riding the hoverboard inside the store and employees asked him to stop.
Police said that one of the managers allegedly chucked a peach at the woman while another tackled her to the ground. The woman's family told NBC 4 New York the manager actually threw a soda can at her, leaving her with a cut under her eye.
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“I believe it was a can, a can of Coke,” the woman’s 41-year-old father, Mark Soto, said. “My daughter tells me after the fact, when she felt something hit her in the face, she looked down and saw a can of Coke. There was no peach.”
After the can or peach was allegedly thrown, Soto showed up and confronted the men.
Video from the interaction that was posted to Facebook shows Soto punching one of the managers in the face near a checkout line as several people yell. Soto tells the manager "I'll kill you" several times as other workers in the store yell.
Soto then walks around the checkout lines as several employees hold up cardboard boxes as shields. Soto again threatens to kill the man before leaving.
Soto denies he yelled racial threats during the brawl and says the video only shows him as the aggressor. He says he said things in the heat of the moment that he would not have followed through with.
“I might have said a couple of words out of anger, but nothing that I would actually, physically do to anyone. I would never harm anyone,” he said.
The two managers and Soto were all charged with assault after the incident, police said. Only one of them — the man accused of throwing the peach — is being charged with a felony. Because of the injuries the victim reportedly sustained, the peach is being considered a weapon. Soto and the other manager are facing misdemeanors.
The grocery store declined to comment Thursday, but the man who posted the video to Facebook said in a post that the manager was falsely accused of throwing a peach at the girl.
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Community leaders said the workers never threw anything and that they are the victims.
“Two innocent people were arrested, both of them being managers,” community activist Isaac Abraham said.
Community activist Gary Schlesinger says the managers were wrongfully arrested and had “nothing to do with the altercation that was outside of the store.”
Gothamist first reported the grocery store fight.