TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 77-year-old man died two days after he was punched in the jaw by a Dunkin’ employee, knocking him to the ground where he hit his head, according to the Tampa Police Department.
Tampa police say the victim went through the drive-thru at the Dunkin’ at 410 South 50th Street on May 5. According to police, he got upset due to the lack of service he was receiving.
That’s when officers say the 77-year-old was asked to leave by employees. Police say the man parked his car and went inside, where he kept arguing with a Dunkin’ employee, identified as 27-year-old Corey Pujols.
According to a spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department, the victim called Pujols a racial slur and Pujols then “challenged” him to repeat the slur. The spokesperson says Pujols punched the man on the jaw when he repeated the slur.
According to police, the man was knocked out and fell to the floor, hitting his head on the floor. Tampa Fire Rescue transported the victim to the hospital, where he died on May 7.
Court records show Pujols was arrested May 7. He is charged with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly or disabled adult with a weapon. He is in the Hillsborough County Jail with no bond.
The case remains under investigation, according to Tampa police.
Employees at the Dunkin’ had no comment Tuesday afternoon, but a spokesperson sent a statement about the incident to WFLA saying the company is “deeply saddened.”
“The franchisee, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, is fully cooperating with the local authorities,” the statement said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police.”
A man who lives in the area of the Dunkin’ and knows both men involved called it shocking.
“[Corey] was a good guy, he used to open Dunkin’ every morning. He’d offer us free coffee, we’d help with the trash. It’s just surprising he would be the one to do something like this,” the man said.
The man added that the victim was a veteran who “was getting up there in age” and “having issues.”
“Two good people, just a bad situation.”