Last Thursday at around 1:50 AM in the city of Hemet, California, 28-year-old Del Taco employee Gabriel Villalba was arrested for stabbing a customer over a messed up order.
According to officials from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, an argument ensued on June 21 between the drive-thru window employee and an unidentified customer when the two disagreed over the contents of an order. The argument quickly transpired into a physical altercation that ended when Villalba used a knife to stab the customer in the abdomen.
Villalba was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and was taken to the Larry Smith Correctional Facility. Friends of the victim rushed him to the hospital and is expected to survive since his wounds are not considered life-threatening.
Some of my biggest questions about this altercation is where the knife came from, and why he had it with him to begin with. To my knowledge, most of the equipment and food in fast food restaurants already come pre-cut, so it only really requires employees to cook and assemble the orders.
I understand kitchens are supposed to have knives, but did this one belong to Gabriel?
Another question that’s going through my mind is why Villalba or another employee didn’t simply correct the order. Since Villalba was manning the drive-thru window, it’s a bit alarming that another employee didn’t (or couldn’t) calm him down before the situation escalated. Even in the wee hours of the night, Villalba couldn’t have been the only employee on the shift.
Lastly, it makes me wonder if this attack means more idiot-proof kitchens in fast food restaurants. Although situations like this are rare, it may be enough for restaurants to take more precaution in what they allow their kitchen staff to use.
Personally, I think these are just isolated incidents that can happen very randomly, but you never know how a company like Del Taco, or any other company, could take situations like this.
What do you Foodbeasts think about the situation? Do you think it was Gabriel’s knife?
[Source & Photo Credit: SWRNN via Gawker]