MODESTO, Calif. - It’s getting rough out there for retail workers during the coronavirus outbreak, a California woman wants the public to know.
Earlier this month, Samantha Clarke of Modesto says, a customer attacked her while she was working at a Big 5 sporting goods store.
“We didn’t have what they wanted and she lost her temper and she hit me in the face,” Clarke told FOX 40 of Sacramento.
Clarke shared photos showing blood streaming down the side of her face after the alleged attack.
In an April post on Facebook, Clarke seemed to sense that an incident like the alleged attack on May 6 might be coming.
“My business has been deemed essential,” she wrote April 26. “So myself and my employees put ourselves at risk every day so that people can shop for their needs. Well, the public, not all, but too many, hate the guidelines put in place that allow us to do business and keep our jobs. Multiple times a day I get cussed out or argued with.”
On May 6, a customer arriving at the store got upset because the store wasn’t able to hold an item for her beyond 30 minutes after she called and inquired about its availability.
“So the lady was upset, understandably. I could understand that she was upset,” Clarke said.
Clarke claims the customer then started throwing things she grabbed off the counter, and a metal item struck Clarke in her face, Clarke told KXTV-TV of Sacramento.
“It was so fast, I couldn't even put my hands up," Clarke told the station. "I had no idea she was going to hit me, like, didn't see it coming.”
The suspect left the store but last week the Modesto Police Department posted a photo showing the suspect in the store’s parking lot, wearing a black mask. The police are hoping to get information from the public on the suspect’s whereabouts.
After the attack, Clarke created a new Facebook page called “Retail life during Covid-19,” to draw attention to the risks that retail workers face.
“Never in a million years thought that I was going to be hit in the face for doing my job," Clarke told KXTV.