Witness Mercy Maduka, who posted a widely-shared video of the incident on Facebook, said the fight was sparked by a bad eyebrow job: "So I'm at the nail salon and they fucked up a lady eyebrow and she refused to pay then a fight broke outttt", she wrote, saying the employees hit the customers "like animals". The nail salon, however, claims that Thomas refused to pay for all of the services.
"So because she did not want to pay the $5 for her messed-up eyebrows, they attacked this grandmother and her two granddaughters with sticks, threw acetone on them and then called the police on them", activist Jasmine Johnson alleges.
The incident at the Happy Red Apple Nail Salon happened Friday but the release of the video led to protests outside the salon on Monday. Police say Huiyue Zheng, 32, was arrested on charges of criminal assault while possession a weapon, assault causing injury, menacing and harassment. A nail salon employee was arrested after she was caught on camera repeatedly attacking a customer with a broom. Protesters said they hope the salon will be shut down. "I said, 'Sit down, let me call the police. They are violent. I saw these workers beat up a woman, well more like jumped her".
About 100 protesters were outside of the nail salon on Monday, NBC New York reports.
The black women and the nail salon employees start pushing and shoving each other, causing the scene to devolve into chaos as one manicurist picks up a chair and begins swinging it.
Video shows wild fight break out in Brooklyn nail salon
Christina Thomas, 21, of Brooklyn was charged with assault, menacing and harrassment.
Prosecutors were reviewing additional evidence and may later alter those charges, the station reported.
According to News12, the salon closed for the rest of the day.
"There is no respect for people in this neighborhood", resident Gavin Gibbs told The New York Daily News. "Shut them down, and they need to be arrested for gang assault. We will come, we will picket it and we'll do whatever we have to close your store down".
Hours earlier, officers had to do the same thing back at 1426 Nostrand Ave. and helped employees get through protesters to safety.
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