The assistant manager of The Habit Burger Grill in Antioch loses her eye in an attack Saturday evening at work.
The victim, Bianca Palomera, 19, had just started her shift at the restaurant, located at 2430 Mahogany Way. According to Palomera, she saw what seems to be a high school-aged boy harassing the special needs brother of her Habit co-worker.
The boy was there to pick up his sister when the suspect started to pester him. Palomera decided to intervene, telling the suspect, “You can just leave.”
Palomera says the suspect got in her face, yelling at her and using an anti-Mexican slur. Fists were involved and Palomera suffered a serious eye injury.
“I thought I was crying, but then I realized that it was blood going down my cheek onto my shirt,” she said. “And then at the ER, when they opened it, I asked, ‘did you open my eye?’ And, that’s kind of when I knew I couldn’t see. It was just black.”
According to doctors, Palomera’s eye ruptured and she will not be able to see again. The community has raised more than $31,000 online to help with her medical expenses.
Palomera said that after the attack, the suspect’s group left the restaurant in a gray BMW SUV.
“Even though I did get basically disabled, or you know, I can’t see out of my eye, don’t be afraid to step up for somebody whether you know them or not,” she said. “If you won’t do it, no one else will. If you’re scared to do it, at least let someone else know what’s going on. Two people is better than one.”