CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Several teenagers are facing criminal charges after a big fight inside the Eden Way Chipotle in Chesapeake last Friday, police said.
The chaotic scene was captured on video by a viewer, the mother of an employee who was at the restaurant when the fight broke out. It shows people exchanging words, then it escalates. Fists start flying, and then feet. At one point, a male jumps over the counter while attempting to kick an employee.
Officers were called to the Chipotle at 836 Eden Way N. last Friday, Feb. 9, for a report of a fight. Police determined it all started after a dispute between employees, then family members got involved.
When officers arrived, they separated those involved in the fight and interviewed them. Officers learned that a teenage employee and restaurant management got into an argument. According to police, the argument turned into a physical dispute when the teen’s family arrived at the restaurant.
10 On Your Side was told these events began when employee Saquoia Diggs refused to take a position at the register. The store’s service manager, Tatiana, then told her to clock out and go home.
There had been bad blood among the staff, according to Tatiana’s mother, who said Chipotle management knew there were issues because her daughter brought it to their attention.
“There was already built-up animosity among several of the employees who were on duty,” said the mother of the store’s service manager, Tatiana, who did not want to be identified. “They didn’t get along. This had been relayed to management weeks ago.”
Tatiana’s mother got out her phone and started recording the violent exchange.
“Arguments going on back and forth,” the mother said. “My daughter was trying to break up the argument and it’s clearly obvious that it wasn’t working.”
** WAVY edited the video to blur the faces of the underage individuals involved in the incident.
Words are exchanged, and then there was an emotional explosion.
In the video, you can hear loud noise and see a man jump over the counter, with punches thrown — all recorded.
“But at that point, it just seemed it was never ending,” Tatiana’s mother said. “I saw stuff flying, I saw fists, I saw feet. You could never imagine seeing something like that in an establishment.”
In the middle of this, Tatiana had been reaching out for help.
“She called her field leader at the same time, and the field leader told them both that they needed to be women,” her mother said. “What is that supposed to be? To be women and continue working to get through the shift.”
Then, Tatiana’s mother was still recording when she claims Diggs brushed past her and hit her.
“She walked past me, and I thought she was just walking past me,” the mother said. “She turns around and … immediately, I see her fist coming straight for me and she hits me and pushes me in between two tables and I hit the ground.”
It is all caught on the camera.
“I see them jumping over a chair, and kicking me in the head, and that’s it,” the mother said. “It was hard to remember afterwards because I just felt kicks and punches in my head from all the back and forth.”
Tatiana’s mother looks back at what happened.
“I was scared,” she said. “I was scared because I knew it was getting more and more heated. I could see the voices were getting louder. … I see my daughter standing there, and she’s standing in the midst of all of them, and there is nothing I can do.”
“It could have been avoided if Chipotle had listened to what was being said, instead of telling my daughter that if they had to come up there, she was going to get fired.”
Tatiana’s mother has retained attorney Sonny Stallings for possible legal action.
“I want Chipotle to be held responsible for what they did,” the mother said. “We have seen too many incidents on TV of employees who have begged for help, and they were not listened to. And they ended tragically.”
According to her mother, Tatiana is not doing well.
“My daughter is living with guilt right now because she feels like there’s something else she could have done,” her mother said, “and I have to tell her, that it is not her fault.”
Several juveniles were reportedly charged in addition to an 18-year-old. Chesapeake Police confirmed Diggs has been charged with assault and battery and assault by mob — both misdemeanor charges — and released on a summons. Chesapeake Police said more charges could be filed in connection with this case.
Chipotle has not yet replied to repeated requests from 10 On Your Side for comment.