GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County prosecutor will not file charges against anyone involved in a fight at a Wyoming Burger King that left two teenage employees injured.
Prosecutor Chris Becker said he would not charge David Zambrana with aggravated assault for Sunday’s fight at the restaurant because there’s blame on both sides for the brawl.
“By no means am I condoning (Zambrana’s) behavior,” Becker said during a Friday morning news conference. “This could have been avoided if he would have just driven away after not getting the service that he wanted at this Burger King, but he did not do so.
“We have to deal with the facts as they are, and there is not a basis to file charges for this incident,” Becker continued.
It happened just after noon Sunday at the fast food restaurant on 28th Street near Michael Avenue SW. Zambrana ordered a drink from the drive-thru and the liquid had sloshed over and down the side of the cup.
Security camera video shows the employee wiping the cup down, taking several napkins and handing a cup back to Zambrana. When she gave Zambrana the cup, he knocked it down onto the ground.
Zambrana then drove off and entered the restaurant. He jumped over the counter to grab a different cup. The video then shows Zambrana going to the lobby pop machines, getting a drink and pumping it on the floor.
That caused an employee to throw what appears to have been an iced coffee at Zambrana and the confrontation worsened.
“He’s confronting them about getting the coffee thrown on him,” Becker said. “She admits, ‘Yes, I did throw that on you, but you dumped all the water and stuff over there.’”
As an employee started filming the confrontation, the situation escalated, with Zambrana tossing a drink at the workers. The employees did the same in return. Becker said Zambrana then appeared to try to go out the door.
“As he goes out, he tries to shut the door, and (an employee) goes flying through,” Becker said. “It almost looks like a UFC flying jump kick.”
The fight was on. During the brawl, one of the employees, 15-year-old Isabela, fell to the ground.
News 8 spoke with Isabela earlier this week. She said she was following Zambrana to lock the door and make sure he left. When that happened, Isabela claimed that Zambrana “body-slammed” and “kicked” her, forcing her co-workers to come to her aid.
“He had body slammed me, picked me up, and then threw me,” Isabela said. “And then everyone came running. And then he started beating up my co-worker.”
Becker said the girl “clearly got slammed to the ground,” but that was “after her aggressive behavior.”
Isabela said she had to get 11 stitches for a cut to the forehead, and a 15-year-old employee suffered a busted jaw and broken teeth.
Zambrana told News 8 Monday he wasn’t the aggressor, claiming he was jumped by workers.
“The video will show me running, trying to flee from these minors,” Zambrana said.
Becker said because there was a fight with both sides being aggressive, there’s not enough evidence to charge Zambrana with aggravated assault.
“I have to be able to show assault charges,” Becker said. “To say he assaulted them, when they’re coming out at him busting through the door like they were…
“A fight occurred. Two people were injured,” he continued. “But there’s just not enough basis to show that Mr. Zambrana committed an aggravated assault causing those injuries.”
Becker said Zambrana could be held liable in a civil case if employees choose to pursue that course of action.
“Civilly, that’s a whole different story,” Becker said. “He could be liable civilly cause that’s a different standard of proof and a whole different proceeding. But for criminal, it’s just not there.”
Becker said the case is a lesson to just walk away from trouble.
“It just seems like there are all these kind of stupid things happening out in the world right now,” Becker said. “Just walk away, don’t do anything. And we don’t have A) the potential for criminal charges, B) we have two girls who are seriously injured now.”