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California Restaurant Employee Loses Eye Defending Special Needs Person Being Bullied

Palomera
Source: GoFundMe

Bianca Palomera.

Nov. 21 2022, Published 2:48 p.m. ET

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A California woman said she is going to lose an eye after helping a special needs person who was being bullied by a man at a restaurant, Radar has learned.

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The woman, Bianca Palomera, 19, was injured when she attempted to defend the special needs person on Nov. 19 at Habit Burger Grill in Antioch, California. She said the special needs person was there waiting for a relative to get off work.

“He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face,” she said. “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.'”

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Then the suspects approached Palomera and hit her. She fought back but was multiple other times. Now, Palomera said, she's going to lose an eye as a result of the attack, according to doctors.

“I don’t really know what to think. I think I'm still processing it,” she said.

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The restaurant said via a statement they are fully backing their employee. “The Habit Burger Grill prioritizes the safety of our team members and customers in our restaurants, and we condemn violence in any form. We extend our full support to our team member as they recover, and we are fully assisting the authorities in their efforts to identify the suspected attackers.”

Palomera's family created a GoFundMe page in hopes of getting help for medical expenses. They released surveillance video so the community can help track down the suspects.

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“We go through not knowing how to help her. Going through the acceptance, the grievance. We are outraged because we’re not getting help from police,” Erica Palomera, the victim’s sister said, according to NBC Bay Area.

As of Nov. 21, $126,702 of the $165,000 goal had been raised on GoFundMe.

“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 coworker's brother,” Bianca Palomera said.

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