Sentenced to Work at Chipotle

(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via AP)

Did a woman go from ordering Chipotle to being ordered to work at Chipotle? In some ways, yes.

How did a judge come up with such an unusual sentence for a woman who went too far while ordering her burrito bowl?

A Burrito Bowl Blow-Up

On September 5, 2023, Rosemary Hayne, 39, walked into a Chipotle in Parma, Ohio. She ordered a burrito bowl and reached the cashier when something went wrong.

Hayne was not satisfied with the burrito bowl in front of her, and she complained to the Chipotle employee, 26-year-old Emily Russell. The interaction was caught on cell phone footage.

Hayne began to yell at Russell. Hayne then picked up the freshly made burrito bowl and threw it into Russell’s face. Russell was only a few feet from Hayne, and the bowl erupted and splattered all over the quick-service restaurant employee.

Hayne then stormed out of the restaurant.

But the story did not end there.

Related: Get Good Legal Representation by Asking This One Question

Criminal Charges for Throwing a Burrito Bowl

Hayne faced criminal charges for the assault. The case was brought in front of Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy P. Gilligan.

Hayen didn’t fight the charges and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, per CNN.

The judge initially sentenced Hayen to 180 days in jail but then changed his mind.

“Every time you watch the video, it makes you more and more upset,” he said. “I was thinking, what else can I do rather than just have her sit in jail?”

The judge decided to come up with a creative punishment. He asked Hayen to go to work at a fast-food restaurant.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Sentenced to Work at a Fast Food Restaurant

The judge told Hayen she had two options. She could serve a 90-day jail sentence or a 30-day sentence along with 60 days of working at a fast food job.

As part of the ruling, Hayen doesn’t need to work at Chipotle. She only has to work in a similar restaurant for at least 20 hours per week. She must secure the job and complete the hours before March 12, 2024, when she must start her jail time.

The judge says he considered that Hayen had no previous criminal history. “So I thought, why should the city taxpayers pay for her and feed her for 90 days in the jail if I can teach her a sense of empathy?“ the judge said. “I also hope this deters others from this type of behavior.”

Hayne was also fined $250 and ordered to serve two months of probation and refrain from having contact with the victim.

Russell, the victim of the assault, quit her job at Chipotle after the incident. She had worked at the restaurant for roughly four years. She said she felt the sentence was fair, per reporting by CBS News.

Related: Misdemeanor vs Felony: What’s the Difference? 

Avoiding a Tougher Punishment

In Ohio, assault is a first-degree misdemeanor that can carry penalties of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

In Florida, assault is defined by Chapter 784 as, “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”

It is considered a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida and can result in:

  • Probation up to 60 days
  • Fines up to $500
  • Up to 60 days in jail

Thanks to the judge’s creative sentencing, Hayen may serve less jail time. But if she does not find employment and serve her hours before her jail time begins in March, she may end up serving the original sentence of 90 days.

As of December 6, Hayen had yet to find employment at a restaurant.

Related: 6 Signs You Need a New Attorney

Navigate Legal Surprises with an Experienced Attorney

The legal process can be full of surprises. Don’t go into any case assuming things will go as planned. Hire an experienced attorney to have by your side to navigate any unexpected challenges or surprises.

Talk to an attorney who can help you know what to expect and guide you through any curve balls in your criminal or civil case. Discuss your can with TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

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