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Burrito Brouhaha: Judge Sentences Woman to Work in Fast Food After Chipotle Attack

The Chipotle Mexican Grill logo hangs outside a restaurant location, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Popularized in TV shows and movies, throwing food in someone's face has been the subject of comedy sketches ever since the Three Stooges appeared on movie screens in the mid-1930s. However, one Ohio woman recently found out that throwing hot food into someone's face in real life is no laughing matter. 

Rosemary Hayne, 39, who threw a bowl of hot food in the face of a Chipotle worker, Emily Russell, on Sept. 5 in Parma, Ohio, was recently sentenced by a judge to serve one month in jail and two months working behind the counter at a fast food restaurant, according to WJW-TV

Hayne, a mother of four, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge at a hearing last week, according to the outlet. But after hearing the evidence, Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy Gilligan gave her another option in order to serve her sentence. 

"You didn't get your burrito bowl the way you like it and this is how you respond?" Gilligan said. "This is not real Housewives of Parma. This behavior is not acceptable."

Hayne apologized to the court and to Russell for the way she acted, but she also told the judge, "If I showed you how my food looked and how my food looked a week later from that same restaurant, it's disgusting looking."

Cell phone video of the incident entered into evidence in court, showing Hayne bringing her bowl of food to the counter and slamming it down, angrily confronting the worker.  A few seconds later, she is seen throwing the entire bowl in the worker's face, WJW reported. Videos of Hayne's confrontation went viral on social media. 

"I bet you won't be happy with the food you are going to get in the jail," the judge told her. 

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slider img 2Gilligan sentenced Hayne to serve 180 days in jail but suspended 90 days. 

Then he asked her, "Do you want to walk in {Russell's} shoes for two months and learn how people should treat people, or do you want to do your jail time?" CBS reported. 

"I'd like to walk in her shoes," Hayne responded.

Gilligan said he would give her 60 days jail credit if she worked at least 20 hours per week at a fast food restaurant for two months. 

Hayne said she would get a job at a restaurant.

The judge later told WJW in an interview that he was appalled by her actions and wanted to hopefully teach her a lesson.

"So I thought, why should the city taxpayers pay for her and feed her for 90 days in the jail if I can teach her a sense of empathy?" the judge said. "I also hope this deters others from this type of behavior."

Meanwhile, Russell, 26 told CBS she had worked at the Chipotle location for four years, but she quit a month after she was assaulted, citing lack of support from her employer. 

Russell told the outlet she was "relieved" at the outcome of Hayne's trial.  

"I've been saying she's lucky she's working 20 hours a week — I was working 65 hours a week," she noted. 

Russell said she had to work an additional four hours after she was assaulted. 

"No one should have to go through any physical attack," she told CBS. "I want everyone to know it's OK to have a bad day, but not to do anything like this."

Russell told The Washington Post she was protecting a 17-year-old employee who was getting yelled at by Hayne. The employee had remade her order twice and included extra meat and other ingredients to calm Hayne, she said. 

Hayne then left but returned to the counter just a few minutes later. 

"She started screaming at me. … The next thing I knew she threw the food in my face. I was so embarrassed and in shock." 

Russell said the food was 200 degrees because she had just made it, and it left her face burning red. "I couldn't believe my customers had to witness that."

"The health and safety of our employees is our greatest priority, and we're pleased to see justice served for any individual that does not treat our team members with the respect they deserve," Laurie Schalow, Chipotle's chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Russell pay bills and to help her receive therapy. As of Friday, the donations totaled $9,908, far surpassing the $1,500 goal. 

The news of Hayne's sentence comes after a survey on violence in the retail workplace revealed that 60% of the retail employees said they had witnessed an incident of violence in their workplace in the past year.  

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