Bianca Palomera Habit Burger fast food worker in Antioch, California loses right eye trying to protect special needs boy from bully at place of work.
Bianca Palomera, 19, was working her shift on November 12 when she saw four men intimidating the brother of one of her co-workers at Habit Burger Grill in Antioch.
The special needs boy was waiting for her sister to finish work when one of the men started to bully him – with Palomera stepping in to try and break up the verbal assault.
Palomera, an assistant manager at the fast food restaurant told the man to stop bullying him and to go away as they threatened to beat the boy up.
Told the fast food worker via KNTV: ‘He was throwing threats and slurs saying that he was going to ‘beat him up’, ‘why does he keep looking his way?’. That’s when I step in and I said, ‘It’s not right what you’re doing”.
Suspect fled store along with 3 others
The man then turned to Palomera and punched her in the face in the restaurant lobby – with surveillance video from the chain capturing the assault.
A fight erupted as multiple customers intervened and tried to stop the men from attacking the fast food worker as the 19-year-old managed to escape.
The man fled the store, along with three others, and left in a sliver BMW, with the men thought to be around 16 to 21 years old.
Told Palomera: ‘He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face.’
Palomera was taken to a nearby hospital for urgent treatment and had an operation on her right eye, but was given the tragic news she had sustained irreversible injuries.
Bianca’s sister, Erika, wrote in a post on Facebook: ‘As a result of the attack she was rushed to a nearby trauma centre where she underwent emergency surgery.
Unfortunately, she sustained irreversible injuries that cost her losing her right eye completely.’
Palomera maintains she has no regrets in trying to help the boy from the bullies.
She said: ‘This is the last thing I would have expected out of anything. I don’t fully regret helping, stepping in. It could have been worse for my co-worker’s brother.’
Habit Burger said they are ‘fully assisting the authorities in their efforts to identify the suspected attackers’.
Her family set-up a GoFundMe to help cover her medical bills and raised nearly $111,000 since Sunday afternoon.
The Antioch Police Department confirmed they are investigating the attack but there have been no arrests made.