19-Year-Old Loses Eye After Defending Co-Worker’s Brother From a Bully

USA News


  • Bianca Palomera intervened against a man who was harassing her co-worker’s younger brother  NBC Bay Area reports.
  • The incident became physical, leading to the man hitting Palomera in the face.
  • Palomera sustained irreversible injuries from the fight and was told she would lose her right eye. 

A 19-year-old fast food worker from California lost an eye after she was attacked for defending her co-worker’s brother from a bully. 

“This is the last thing I would have expected out of anything. I don’t fully regret helping, stepping in. It could have been worse for my coworker’s brother,” Bianca Palomera, 19, told NBC Bay Area.

Palomera was working at Habit Burger Grill in Antioch, California, on November 12 when she saw a man bullying her co-worker’s brother, who has special needs, according to the news outlet. 

According to NBC Bay Area, Palomera stepped in to stop the man from further harassing the boy, who was waiting for his brother to get off of work when the man turned his attention towards her.

“He was throwing threats and slurs saying that he was going to ‘beat him up’, ‘why does he keep looking his way?’ That’s when I step in and I said ‘it’s not right what you’re doing,'” Palomera told the news outlet.

The man became physical, hitting Palomera in the face, and she fought back she was hit several more times, according to the local news outlet. 

“He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face,” Palomera told NBC Bay Area.

According to security footage posted on Facebook by Palomera’s sister Erika, the man quickly left the fast food establishment after  Palomera managed to separate herself from him. 

According to Palomera’s sister, she was rushed to a nearby trauma center, where she underwent emergency surgery.

Palomera sustained irreversible injuries during the incident, causing her to lose her right eye, according to Palomera’s sister. 

“It is an outrage that not only a man put a hand on a female. But to the degree, it went to and the amount of damage it caused,” Erika said on Facebook. “She was only trying to do the right thing and stop a special needs person from being bullied.” 

A fundraising campaign set up by Palomera’s sister on GoFundMe has raised over $100,000 as of the time of writing. 

In a statement provided to TODAY Food, Habit Grill addressed the incident by saying they prioritize the safety of their team members and are planning additional assistance for Palomera. 

“We are proud that Bianca defended our customer so bravely during this recent incident, and we pledge to support her recovery,” the statement reads. “Our senior leaders have been in regular communication with Bianca and her family.”



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