Charges are pending against a GrubHub driver who he allegedly ran over a restaurant employee after he had been asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines. According to WYKT, 24-year-old Bijan Early is in the hospital with serious injuries following the altercation outside Ms. T's Southern Fried Chicken in Chicago on Friday. The altercation was reportedly prompted after the driver was asked to wait outside of the restaurant to maintain social distancing.
"My social distancing rule is one customer at a time," Angenita Tanner, the restaurant owner and mother of the victim, said. "He stood against the door, and he said, 'I'm not leaving.' I said, 'Well, sir, this is for your health, as well as ours, to protect yourself.' He said, 'I don't want to.'"
According to Tanner, the man, who has not been identified, kicked the door before leaving the restaurant. When she and her daughter went outside to get his license plate for police and GrubHub, a verbal altercation occurred, during which the GrubHub driver allegedly threatened to run Early over.
"I was so scared," Tanner said, explaining that the driver followed through with his threat and ran her daughter over before fleeing the scene. "I've never seen anything like this. It was just like something crazy out of TV. It was surreal... I thought he was going to kill my baby."
Early reportedly suffered multiple injuries in the incident, including multiple broken bones and injuries to her arm and head, and is currently in the ICU. Tanner said that her daughter, who she has not been able to visit due to coronavirus-related visitor restrictions at the hospital, "is on a breathing machine" and "sedated because she is in so much pain." Police confirmed that Early's injuries are not life-threatening and she is in stable condition. The delivery driver has since turned himself in and charges are pending.
In a statement to NBC Chicago, a GrubHub spokesperson said that the driver had cleared all background checks and had no prior reports of misconduct. The spokesperson, who condemned the incident, confirmed that the driver’s contract has since been terminated.
"We are shocked and appalled by these reports, and our hearts go out to the person injured and her family," the statement read. "We have revoked this driver's access to our platform and terminated his contract with us. We are fully cooperating with the Chicago Police Department and provided them information about this driver."