An employee at a Dunkin’ location in Florida is accused of throwing a punch that killed an elderly customer who allegedly used a racial slur.
Corey Pujols, 27, is accused of killing a 77-year-old man after striking him before he fell back and hit his head, officials told Fox13. Investigators said that the man was annoyed by the service and was asked to leave a location in Tampa.
Pujols now faces aggravated manslaughter charges, said the Tampa Police Department.
In the incident, officials said the elderly man went through the Dunkin’ drive-thru at 410 South 50 Street on May 5. He became upset by the service and was asked to leave before he went inside the restaurant and argued with Pujols, said officials.
Investigators claimed the man called Pujols a slur and repeated the phrase after Pujols challenged him. After he did, according to police, Pujols hit the man in the jaw, knocking him out, and causing him to fall, according to the Fox affiliate report.
The victim, who was not identified, was rushed to a nearby hospital. He died several days later.
An autopsy cited by the Tampa Bay Times showed the man suffered brain contusions and a fractured skull. The paper also reported that surveillance camera footage showed that the man hit the back of his head after being punched.
Pujols allegedly told police, according to the Tampa Bay Times, the 77-year-old man was a regular customer and was “extremely rude.”
“We are deeply saddened by the incident at our franchised restaurant in Tampa,” a spokesperson for Dunkin’ said in a statement about the matter. “The franchisee, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, is fully cooperating with the local authorities. As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police.”