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Video: Hostess At Popular NYC Restaurant Carmine's Attacked After Asking Tourists For Vax Proof

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Tourists from Texas attacked a hostess at a popular New York City restaurant after police say they were asked to show proof of vaccination. It happened Thursday evening at Carmine's on the Upper West Side. Now, three people are facing charges.

As WCBS-TV's Natalie Duddridge reports, this is exactly what some restaurant owners feared when enforcement of the city's vaccine mandate took effect Monday. Staff expected to face pushback and hostility from unvaccinated customers, but not a full-blown assault like this.

Cellphone video shows several women involved in a scuffle that almost knocks over the hostess booth at Broadway and West 90th Street. The NYPD said the 24-year-old hostess was punched, slapped, and pushed after she asked the group for proof of vaccination, a new city policy to dine indoors.

NYC Vaccine Mandate: Where And How To Show Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Activities

Police said three women from Texas -- a 44-year-old, her 21-year-old daughter, and a 49-year-old -- became enraged and even yanked off the victim's necklace during the assault.

The hostess declined medical attention on the scene and is expected to be OK. Her attackers were taken into custody and given desk appearance tickets.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance issued a statement on behalf of Carmine's, saying in part:

"It's a shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job – as required by city policies – and trying to make a living. Our focus right now is caring for our employee and the rest of our restaurant family. We are a family-style restaurant, and this is the absolute last experience any of our employees should ever endure and any customers witness."

The organization called on the city and state to increase penalties for assaulting restaurant workers enforcing COVID protocols. It also said Mayor Bill de Blasio must do a better job making visitors aware of the city's vaccine card policy.

Restaurant owners who do not comply with the mandate can face fines starting at $1,000.

The city offered training for restaurant workers on how to handle unruly customers, but many staff say they need more help.

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