Security Tape Reportedly Shows Different Details About Brawl at Carmine’s Restaurant

By Carol Tannenhauser

Security camera footage provided by Carmine’s restaurant (Broadway and 91st Street), the site of a brawl Thursday night involving a hostess, a group of tourists, and proof of vaccination, has revealed a different scenario than was originally reported by police and the press, according to The New York Times.

It was originally reported by multiple news outlets, including WSR, based on an NYPD report, that a hostess at Carmine’s was attacked by three female tourists from Texas, because she asked to see their vaccination cards, denying them entry into the popular Italian eatery. On Sunday, however, The Times reported, “Security camera footage reviewed by The New York Times shows three women, who were with several other people, being ushered into the restaurant after showing documentation near the entrance. Several minutes later, three men arrive to join the group, but only one of the three shows a vaccination card, lawyers for both sides said. A short time later, after the three women, who are Black, have joined the men outside, the fight breaks out.”

The Rag reached out to lawyers from both sides, but has not yet heard back. In an interview with the Times, Justin A. Moore, “a lawyer who represents one of the women, Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, said that the hostess used a racial slur and spoke condescendingly to the patrons, suggesting that their vaccination cards were fake. He also said the Texas women claim that the hostess assaulted them.”

Carolyn Richmond, a lawyer representing Carmine’s, denied those allegations in an email to The Times. “Nothing about this incident suggests race was an issue,” she wrote. “The pandemic has added a key responsibility to the host position — insuring the safety and health of all employees and guests by checking for proof of vaccination in compliance with New York City law. The idea that anyone would become violent as an employee performs this necessary function is anathema to New York, the hospitality industry and New Yorkers in general,” she added. “As all of the women showed proof of vaccination they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.”

In addition to Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 44, her daughter, Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 21, and another woman, Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, were arrested and charged with one count each of misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. They were issued Desk Appearance Tickets (DATs), and told to return to court on October 5.

NEWS | 63 comments | permalink
    1. Carlos says:

      A racist would not last long working at Carmine’s, as a decent percentage of their guests are African-American. So I find that story hard to believe.

      It is very sad when people blame racism for their problems when it isn’t the case, as it discounts the unfortunately still-too-frequent times when there is racism.

      • Anna says:

        I agree. I also find the accusation that the hostess “spoke condescendingly” ludicrous as a justification for assault.
        (Pro tip for Southern visitors: do not expect the same warm, exuberant friendliness here that is typical of the South. NYC is a very different culture and has different standards of courteous speach.)

        • Carol says:

          Huh? Are you saying this fight was about an employee not using the same “welcome” as what might be typified by exuberant friendliness? I’m sure those TX women aren’t that cloistered. And Southerners in general might not particularly need blanket pro tips for traveling. Most of them are as intuitive as the next person, especially concerning communication. These women may indeed have a personal problem wrapped-up in this situation somewhere, but I seriously doubt it has anything to do with being from TX. (And do we even know they grew up in the South? Or just live there now?)
          Let’s let this thing play out and see the story when all the dust settles. I’m sure there is still more to come.

          • Nineteennomore says:

            I agree. Let’s see where this goes. There’s probably a lot more to this than meets the eye. I for one am wondering how long this hostess has been with Carmine’s and if there have been any other incidents in which she was involved. The plot thickens.

    2. blacklikeu says:

      Race! Race! Race! Race! Race!
      Racist! Racist! Racist! Racist! Racist!

      The words to end relationships.
      To end a conversation.
      To end a career.
      To end a life.

      Enough!

    3. LivableCity says:

      The NYT article describes video and quotes lawyers indicating that this incident had more to it than was originally reported. The description of the new video makes clear that this is likely the case. Other restaurant staff were physically trying to de-escalate/contain the hostess’ actions before the fight broke out. It is beyond me how anyone not present can seem certain about what was or was not said.(Bad stuff crop up in heated situations? Um, not unheard of.) Much more likely that the original police report did not get the story right (they often dont, or get only partial takes), and that we don’t know what else was going on. Lots of people were there and charges are pending. Good job WSR making space for a different take on this story, which may not be over yet.

      • purple_goat says:

        This article n NYT are covering for the attackers, they need jail time. Read the headline, then the article then NYT no new info. the video clearly shows hostess getting attacked and attackers are idiots.

        If you want to bring race into it – say that the people who came to her defense were black.

      • RAL says:

        frankly it doesn’t matter who says what in any situation – you don’t put your hands on people. You ask to speak to the Manager. End of.

    4. ben says:

      Not that I don’t believe in NYT’s recounting of the video but I wish they’d just release the tape to the public already.

    5. Michael says:

      BLM is scheduling a protest at Carmine’s?

      Is it only over this one incident or are there others?

    6. Laura says:

      “As all of the women showed proof of vaccination they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.” Um, was this before or after the brawl?

      • RWC says:

        How can you comment without reading the article?
        The women were seated, and they came out of the restaurant to accompany the rest of their party, and 2 out of three men did not have a vaccination card.
        And then all hell broke loose because the two unvaccinated were denied entrance.

        I eat in Carmines the time it is highly unlikely anyone in Carmine’s staff would use a racial slur towards a customer. This is not Texas!
        Carmines has a large Black and brown staff in all differ t positions, and on any night, half clientele is Black patrons. We are all treated professionally by staff, and they are always kind and friendly.

        Tourists need to be advised they must show a vaccination card even if the rest of the party is vaccinated .

      • charles says:

        News releases and video showed the women were seated inside the restaurant prior to the brawl.

      • Colene says:

        They were seated before the brawl.

      • Delores Del Río says:

        The article clearly states that the women were seated but went outside to join the men after they were refused entry, and that’s when and where the brawl ensued.

    7. Mike says:

      A NY restaurant host speaking condescendingly? That’s pretty much a job requirement, isn’t it?

    8. Ellen says:

      Why start punching? Restaurants, airplanes-people think it is perfectly all right to get physical. It is like we are all ten years old and in a schoolyard.

    9. UWS40 says:

      They’re from Texas.

      A very different world from NYC.

      • purple_goat says:

        You can’t say they attacked because they were black. You *can* say because they were Texans.

        Seriously that is weird.

        At any rate the people who defended her were black.

    10. Sam Katz says:

      Playing the race card to justify physically attacking a hostess at a long-established restaurant with lots of Black staff and patrons is one of the dumbest defense tactics I ever heard. The guests should have pled “drunk and disorderly” and apologized instead of trying to blame the restaurant that as Texans they know absolutely nothing about. They should just go back to Texas, because who is going to serve them here now?

    11. Upper West Snide says:

      So it was sexism?

    12. Frank says:

      It’s funny how they cry “racial slur” even after they were permitted inside with no problems, and the “brawl” started after they came back out.
      Here’s my take on what happened….the 3 women showed proof of vaccination, were allowed inside, the 3 men arrived later, where only one showed proof. The other 2 men weren’t allowed inside, the 3 women came out to argue/protest, brawl begins.

    13. Michael says:

      I just read the entire article and cannot for the life of me understand why “after the three women, who are Black, have joined the men outside” was even included in the story. Their race is completely irrelevant. the author would not have made the same distinction if the ladies were white.

      • Brandon says:

        Huh? The women claim a racial slur was used. Of course it’s relevant. Or are you one of those people who’d say they “don’t see color”?

        • Katie says:

          If the 3 assailants who attacked the Asian hostess had been white, race would have been the sole topic of this story and discussed endlessly. However because the assailants were black, race was unmentioned in the initial media reports. Instead the media only mentioned they were “from Texas” – catnip for the woke. The gaslighting continues.

      • blacklikeu says:

        If the three women were white they could not claim that the Carmine worker called them by the N word.

        BTW – we are ALL people of color.
        White is a color. So is black, brown, yellow, red, pink,
        whatever…

    14. Balebusta says:

      Yawn, another attempt by the woke left to further divide us. I agree with Carlos that a racist hostess would be unlikely to last at Carmine’s both because of the very diverse customer base as well as the fact that the staff are racially diverse as well. Even if the hostess used a racial slur (which I find completely improbable in this context), there is never a reason to physically assault another person. Now BLM is protesting a restaurant that employs hundreds of minorities across multiple locations? Brilliant idea…protest until the restaurant loses business and has to lay off the people of color who need this job to live. We have truly lost all common sense in today’s society.

      • Leon says:

        BLM stands for a number of good things but they lose all credibility with their knee-jerk activism and constantly looking for something to complain about. It is the boy who cried wolf – legitimate offenses against black people are trivialized because they are protesting situations where race was not the cause of the problem.

        And, as Balebusta noted, this is cutting off their noses to spite their faces – taking down Carmine’s will cost a lot of black people their jobs. Brilliant!

        • CM says:

          well said! I too support BLM but in this case, so far, and from what I’ve read, they are over-reaching and losing a measure of credibility

        • SadforUWS says:

          BLM standings for nothing good. It is a proud Marxist organization that is seeking to destroy America. And its founders are now extremely wealthy from “donations”. Marxism, the American way!

          • GG says:

            Forgive my ignorance but what does Karl Marx or Marxism have to do with BLM??

            Do you really think that Marxism is the American way?

            Do you even know what Marxism is?? I think you might want to look into it a little further.

            • Jenny says:

              Your ignorance is unforgivable. BLM is a proudly Marxist organization. The founders of BLM admit it.

            • sg says:

              The founders of BLM including Patrice Cullers, you know the person who has bought several million dollar properties, are proud of the fact that they studied Marx. You should really learn a bit more about the groups you support.

    15. MW says:

      This sounds like a set-up against the restaurant

    16. James Coughlin says:

      No hostess will be able to keep a job in NYC if they were rude to customers. Carmines has a lot of guests that African-American, including their staff. I find this really hard to believe. BLM is protesting over one incident???

    17. LL says:

      I’ve read both WSR articles, and I must be missing something.

      The women were seated inside. The men came, and the women went outside to meet the men

      The women say their vaccine cards were unjustifiably questioned.

      But if they had already been seated, how were their cards being questioned? Does this mean they weren’t being questioned when they were first seated, only when they tried to come back inside after meeting the men they were with?

      I will add, though I find it highly improbable that a person prejudiced against African Americans would ever work at Carmine’s , it is possible that the waitress got angry, let her guard down, and said a racial slur. If that happened, that was awful for the patrons.

      But I am confused about the unfair questioning of the vaccine cards. They had been seated inside. So when did this happen? And if this occurred because they were Black, what happened with the other Black patrons?

    18. EGF says:

      Another example of the media trying to get the scoop at the cost of reporting the facts.

    19. Soycher says:

      Even if the waitress called the women a racial slur (which I highly doubt – did anyone except the women hear this slur? What young woman on the UWS goes around spouting racial slurs in 2021?) it did not justify beating her up. According to the NY Times, they see the hostess brush past them and then they go chasing after her and beat her. They are inventing racial slurs in order to change the subject from their violent conduct. Legally it changes nothing but they are hoping to sway the court of public opinion and have decided that the best defense is a good offense.

    20. Jake van Hoensbroek says:

      I am sure this will all go away if Carmine’s gives a couple of hundred grand to BLM. Hope they stand firm. Race charge is totally and transparently bogus.

    21. Jessica says:

      It’s clear these women are lying about the racial slur. I’ve been to Carmines way to many times. I DO NOT believe these women from Texas at all. They are trying to justify their disgusting behavior.

      • UWS Wine Guy says:

        The real question is…will all the people of color that enjoy eating at Carmines speak up and support this local restaurant?…….let’s see…….

    22. Tom says:

      New video just released shows what really happened. https://abc7ny.com/hostess-assaulted-carmines-uws/11033024/

    23. Al says:

      Assault is against the law. Stop playing the race card and adding a false narrative. The hostess was just doing her job.

    24. Joe West says:

      Carmine’s staff is diverse with many people of color. Support Carmine’s. Great staff, great food. Friendly place to eat. Go there and show your support for Carmine’s. It is about time we stand up to hate.

    25. Joe says:

      I don’t believe the diners accusations for 1 second.

      • rc says:

        look at the video. what did the hostess say to the women when she walked by them. the ladies were walking IN, but something got their attention when the hostess walked by them and out the door. if she didn’t say anything, why did the patrons stop and turn around??

        • Nineteennomore says:

          Exactly. That’s the moment when everything turned. Once we accept that people don’t react to “nothing”, we can start to get to the bottom of what happened and why. Something terrible was said to trigger this whole thing. Let’s keep our eyes and minds open. I looked at the tape from ABC News and I didn’t see the hostess punched. Maybe it’s on another tape? By the way, is Westsiderag censoring out people who have questioned the original version of this incident published on the site?

    26. Anthony warner says:

      The BLM event happened last night. The whole incident shows why BLM jumped the shark a while ago. There us zero racism in this. The hostesses at Carmine’s are all women of color.

      The women who claimed they were racially profiled were already let into the restaurant after they showed vac cards.

      The problem was with the men who joined them later and who didn’t have the vaccine cards. The women got mad and attacked the hostess. There was no racial slur, and from what Carmin’s management said racism was never mentioned to management or the police. It was raised for the first time by the defense lawyer. .

    27. daniel malisky says:

      Lsat time I was at Carmines I said to my partner we were the only white people there….was I racist…..oh dear ..I hope not. I know that black lives matter has attacked diners at various restaurants yelling we dont want white people…please don’t tell them I said that

    28. Sharon says:

      Carmine’s is one of my favorite places to dine. Great staff. No way in hell will I believe that the hostess used a racial slur that only the three women heard. They where seated inside and it became an issue of seating whem black men in their party came with no proof of vaccination. Shame on BLM for playing the the race card.Stop the foolishness. It makes them look desperate for a cause. Carmine’s security tape shows the three women in a violent attack mode on hostess.

    29. Martin says:

      Let’s be real here. If a hostess uttered the N word on the UWS, she’d be long gone by now. UWSers and NYers in general don’t put up with that and would be the FIRST to mention it if being interviewed on the news or by a policeman. Totally bogus claim by the Texans to cover for their possibly criminal behavior. I guess the chips on shoulders in Texas are bigger, too.

      • rc says:

        I don’t understand. The video clearly shows that the hostess said something to the ladies when she walked by them. She then stands outside in a manner that looks like she did something she shouldn’t have, moments before the three ladies confront her.

        • Boris says:

          It’s irrelevant what she said to them or whether she hurt their feelings. Even if she said something definitively inappropriate, that’s her right. The women who violently assaulted her did not have the right to lay a finger on her. Words should never be countered with fists and these hoodlums should feel the weight of the legal system. Make it difficult for them to walk off with no repercussions. I hope their places of employment get wind of this.

    30. Hispanic White Chinese says:

      They always cry race to protect ignorance!! BLM really ? What about WLM HLM CLM
      EVERYONE MATTERS YOUR THE RACISTS