3 Houston-area suspects arrested in beating of NYC hostess over COVID-19 vaccine proof


Close up of the NYPD logo on a police car. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY (KXAN) — Three people from the Houston area are accused of attacking a hostess in New York City who requested to see their proof of vaccination against COVID-19, as is now required by executive order in that city.

The New York City Police Department said just before 5 p.m. local time Thursday, officers responded to Carmine’s Restaurant on Broadway where they found a woman who said three people had hit her after she asked for their COVID-19 vaccine card. She had bruises and scratches on her face, chest and arm, NYPD said. It added her necklace also broke in the struggle.

The NBC affiliate in New York City reported the woman was a hostess at the restaurant. Carmine’s told them, “it’s a shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job — as required by city policies — and trying to make a living.” The news station also received video of the attack, which showed the hostess stand nearly toppling and a number of people nearby trying to intervene.

Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 44, and Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 21, both from Humble, Texas, were arrested along with 49-year-old Sally Rechelle Lewis from Houston. They face assault and criminal mischief charges.

New York City requires people to show proof of vaccination if they want to dine inside, see a show or go to a gym, according to the Associated Press. People can show their vaccine card or use state and city apps.

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