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Dollar Tree Cashier Assaulted When Trying to Enforce Social Distancing

A cashier at a Florida Dollar Tree accused a man of physically attacking her after she reportedly tried to ask him to practice social distancing as he crowded others when he allegedly tried to cut in line at the checkout.

Last Friday afternoon, patrons and employees at the Dollar Tree in Madeira Beach were conducting business as usual, but with the implementation of new social distancing procedures put in place in the store to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Just before 1:30 pm, Stephan Fanelli, a 55-year-old man who was listed as “transient” in the police report, was reportedly standing in one of the lines with his items for purchase and waiting to be checked out.

According to the cashier assisting the customers in the line that Fanelli was reportedly standing in, the man started to behave impatiently and forced his way up to the conveyor belt. It was also alleged that Fanelli began unloading his intended purchases in front of the items that were already on the belt and reportedly completely ignored the social distancing practices put in place inside the establishment.

The cashier said she asked Fanelli to comply with the social distance required in the establishment and to return to his original place in line.

When the employee started to move Fanelli’s items off of the belt, she said that the man became physically aggressive with her and began to hit her.

The authorities were notified and they dispatched to the location. When they arrived the police reviewed the surveillance footage and spoke to another shopper who said they watched as Fanelli was pushing around the alleged victim. As recorded in the officer’s statement, the video depicted a man hitting the cashier in the arm.

Fanelli was placed under arrest and booked into the county jail. He is facing charges for suspicion of felony battery, and he is being held on a $2,500 bond.

If you or someone you love is suspected of an assault or battery crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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