The three Black women from Texas who were arrested for beating a hostess at Carmine’s last month were arraigned on assault charges Tuesday.
All three women – Kaeita Rankin, Tyonnie Rankin and Sally Lewis – face charges of assault, attempted assault and harassment, court papers indicate, and could face up to a year in prison if convicted.
The three are due back in court on November 18.
It was originally believed that the altercation began when the women were unable to show the hostess proof of having been vaccinated. It was soon revealed, though, that it was two men who had later joined their party who couldn’t provide vaccination proof, which is why they were not allowed to enter the restaurant.
Justin A. Moore, an attorney representing one of the women, also claimed that the 24-year-old hostess had used a racial slur against the women, and told the New York Times that it was “mutual combat.” The Times also wrote that “[Moore] also said the Texas women claim that the hostess assaulted them,” though surveillance footage appears to refute this claim.
Soon after the New York Times article came out, leaders of Black Lives Matter of Greater NY organized a protest at the restaurant.
About a week after the assault and arrests, Moore also revealed a racially-charged incident at Carmine’s from 2015 through his Instagram page, in which he stated (in part) that “The proof is mounting that Carmine’s is a racist institution that hires people who are anti-black.”
In response to the attorney’s social media post, a spokesperson from Carmine’s sent us the following statement (in part):
“As a sideshow to distract from the fact that his clients attacked our employees and were arrested, the Texas lawyer has now dredged up a false allegation of racial discrimination from six years ago that a judge actually threw out because there was no evidence to support the fabrication.
“Over 90 percent of our employees at the restaurant are people of color. All of our restaurant managers are people of color. All of our hosts on the day of the attack were people of color.”
Footage released by Carmine’s shows the hostess passing the women before exiting the restaurant. While the angle of the camera makes it difficult to determine if the hostess said anything, one of the women appears to react, and can be seen following the hostess outside.
Additional security footage from outside the restaurant shows one of the women initiating a physical assault against the hostess.
We’ve reached out to both sides of the case for updated statements.
Justin A. Moore, the attorney for Kaeita Rankin, tells us that “Yesterday’s arraignment marked the beginning of the path forward for my client Kaeita Rankin to prove her innocence and show that Carmine’s and their employee lied about what happened that day.”
A spokesperson for Carmine’s says “We greatly appreciate how seriously the District Attorney’s office is taking this attack on our staff. Restaurant workers are part of our city’s lifeblood, and today sends a strong message that criminal acts like these will not be tolerated.”