Judge Gillian said that it is the first time he has handed down this kind of sentence
A woman, Rosemary Hayne, who threw a bowl of hot food into the face of a Chipotle worker, has been sentenced to one month in jail, along with an additional two months of employment in a fast-food position.
Videos capturing the incident, where Hayne berated Chipotle worker Emily Russell on September 5 and subsequently hurled food at her face from close range, went viral. Hayne, a 39-year-old mother of four, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and received the sentence last week in the municipal court of Parma, Ohio. Judge Timothy Gilligan provided her with the option of a 90-day jail sentence or a 30-day jail term coupled with 60 days of working in a fast-food job.
"Do you want to walk in her shoes for two months and learn how people should treat people, or do you want to do your jail time?" Judge Gilligan asked Hayne at the hearing.
"I'd like to walk in her shoes," Hayne responded.
Hayne is yet to find a job. Joseph O'Malley, her attorney, stated that his client had no prior criminal record before the incident and emphasised her genuine remorse for her actions on that day.
"Let's give her the opportunity to not let this one day define the rest of her life," he told CNN.
The attorney told CNN that Hayne have to have her job approved by the court and she will have to work there 20 hours a week.
"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.'"
Asked if he would want to hire Hayne if he ran a fast food restaurant, the judge said he doesn't think she'll have trouble finding a job.
"I don't see her as any greater risk than anyone who walks in off the street," he said. "I looked at it as someone who lost her cool."
Judge Gillian said that it is the first time he has handed down this kind of sentence, but unfortunately it's not the first incident of this kind to come before him. He mentioned that there was a case a couple of years ago in which a customer who didn't get a cookie in a Happy Meal at a McDonald's reached through the drive-thru window and started punching a worker. That defendant received a 90-day jail sentence.
"I see these cases more than I want to," said Gilligan, who has been a judge for 30 years.
Commenting on the case, the judge said, "The health and safety of our employees is our greatest priority, and we're pleased to see justice served for any individual that does not treat our team members with the respect they deserve."