NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Community members are calling for a Brooklyn nail salon to close its doors for good after a Friday brawl between workers and customers was caught on video.
Video obtained only by CBS2 shows one of the salon’s customers pacing the salon in what the owner says is moments before the first physical contact was made between an employee who was allegedly trying to resolve the issue before things got out of hand.
It still remains unclear who touched who first, or how things got so far out of hand.
“They were just doing cleaning job at the beginning of that night,” said Summer Chen from the Chinese-American Nail Association.
The association has been in touch with the owner of Happy Red Apple Nails, Michael Lin. Lin didn’t wish to speak with CBS2 on camera and has since retained an attorney. Police say the fight broke out Friday after a customer, Christina Thomas, complained about her eyebrow service and refused to pay five dollars for it.
Lin says the customer also didn’t want to pay for pedicures she and her grandmother received so the owner called police. That’s when the violent brawl broke out, with footage of the incident since striking a cord with longtime customers.
“You can’t beat people with a broom, they were beating them like animals,” said customer Yolanda Gonzalez.
Both Thomas and employee HuiYue Zheng face charges of assault and harassment. Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-43rd) on Tuesday called on the business to shut down.
“We want charges against the young lady, Christina Thomas, dropped,” Richardson said. “She was a victim defending her mother against a gang assault.”
The salon says it hopes to reopen, and wants to make peace with the community.
“We hope we can still be friends because we have a good relationship with the community for a long time,” said the association’s William Gao.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office says it’s still investigating the melee, and more charges could be filed in the coming days.