Dunkin' employee charged with manslaughter after punching customer

·2 min read

A Florida man is facing a manslaughter charge after punching a 77-year-old man who allegedly called him a racial slur. The man died two days later.

Corey Pujols, 27, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly or disabled adult with a weapon after police say he punched a man while working at a Dunkin’ in Tampa, WFLA-TV reported.

Police told WFLA that the victim was in the drive-thru when he became upset due to the lack of service on May 5. The victim was asked to leave but instead parked his car, went inside the doughnut shop and an argument ensued between the man and Pujols, police said.

Pujols, who is Black, told police that the victim was a regular customer but was "extremely rude" that day, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He said the man called him a racial slur and that he asked him to repeat it.

After the man repeated it, Pujols told police he punched the man once, and it caused him to fall. The man was taken to a hospital after police and fire crews found him unconscious and bleeding from the head.

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Pujols was arrested on a charge of battery on a person older than 65 and released the next day after posting $2,000 bail, jail records show.

His freedom was short-lived because the man died two days later, and the charge was upgraded to aggravated manslaughter of a person older than 65.

An autopsy revealed the man had a skull fracture and brain injuries as a result of blunt trauma to the head, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“We are deeply saddened by the incident at our franchised restaurant in Tampa, Florida," ” Dunkin' said in a statement to USA TODAY. "The franchisee, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, is fully cooperating with the local authorities. As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police."

Jail records show Pujols was rearrested May 7 and is being held without bail.

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Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dunkin' employee Corey Pujols charged with manslaughter