A restaurant owner violently beat a gay waiter while screaming “F**king faggot, I’ll murder you,” according to a new federal lawsuit.
In November 2019, Emilio Branchinelli of Emilio’s Pizzeria & Ristorante in Long Island, New York allegedly punched waiter Michael Abenante so hard that a tooth flew out of his mouth.
The shocking homophobic attack was witnessed by several other staff members and was sparked by Abenante wearing black Converse shoes to work, the suit claims.
Branchinelli was enraged by the sight of them and ordered the server to buy new shoes on his break or “find another f**king job,” wrote attorney John Luke Jr. in the complaint.
But when Abenante returned with a new pair, his boss told him they were not the right shoes. “You look like a f**king homo mountain climber, are you f**king stupid?” he allegedly barked at him.
“You and your c**t mother both should’ve died when she pushed you out!”
Branchinelli continued the disturbing homophobic tirade as he chased the waiter from the building, allegedly kicking him in the lower back and punching him in the face while shouting: “F**king faggot, I’ll murder you.”
Sadly this was the culmination of a string of harassment and discrimination against the gay waiter from the moment he was hired in 2017, the suit claims.
He says the kitchen staff called him “culero” — a Spanish homophobic slur — and whistled at him, blew him kisses and slapped his behind. He reportedly filed numerous complaints with management but nothing was ever acted on.
Abenante is now suing for punitive and non-punitive damages, alleging civil rights violations, discrimination and civil battery.
His lawsuit is joined by another employee, waitress Sabrina Kozminsky, who says she too was a victim of sexual harassment and discrimination while working at the restaurant.
She described a “sexually charged hostile work environment” where kitchen staff subjected her to groping and a barrage of sickening comments — including “I wanna put a baby inside you” and “You like it in the ass?”
The case was filed in Brooklyn federal court Friday.
PinkNews requested comment from Emilio Branchinelli.