| Crime |

Woman Claims Taco Bell Workers Threw Hot Grease at Her, Gets Charged With Criminal Mischief

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A woman who said Taco Bell employees threw hot grease at her and her friends and attacked one with a knife has now been charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The fight took place on June 1 at the Taco Bell on the South Loop near 288 and 610, and started when 19-year-old Haronisha Alexander threw a glass bottle out of her car window in the restaurant's drive-through, according to court records. The drive-through worker told Alexander to pick the bottle up — otherwise he would not serve them. But Alexander apparently refused because it was raining.

Angry they wouldn't be getting any tacos, Alexander and her three friends barged into the restaurant, police said, and one friend assaulted one of the employees. But at a news conference that Alexander held at Taco Bell with family and community activist Quanell X shortly after the incident, Alexander said that one employee threw a drink at her, another stabbed her boyfriend, and another grabbed a pitcher of hot grease and threw it at them. Alexander said she left to drive her boyfriend to the hospital.

Alexander came back four hours later, police say. Restaurant employees had locked her out — so Alexander decided to walk around the side and throw a rock through the window. Then, police say, she picked up another rock and smashed another large storefront window near the main eating area, causing nearly $1,500 in damage.

Because of all the he-said she-said, pinpointing what happened — other than that Alexander is accused of throwing rocks in the windows — hasn't exactly gotten easier. That whole stabbing part? Not in Alexander's criminal complaint. That whole Taco Bell-employees-throw-grease-at-customers part? Not part of the narrative in Alexander's complaint either — but employees admitted in their police report they poured hot grease on the customers in self-defense. There was also some talk of chair-throwing in other media reports, though it's not clear who, exactly, was doing the throwing.  

The Harris County District Attorney's Office said prosecutors aren't currently pursuing any charges against the Taco Bell employees unless new information comes forward.

After the brawl, Taco Bell released a statement, saying that the incident was so traumatic for employees that management is providing them with counseling.

Alexander is out on a $1,000 bond and is due in court on Friday.

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