Retail worker urges patience, kindness from customers after attack

Local News

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A retail worker in Modesto said she was brutally attacked by a customer earlier this month.

She is now raising awareness of how workers are being treated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In pictures shared with FOX40, Samantha Clarke detailed the attack she said she suffered on May 6 by a masked woman who was upset because of a sold-out swimming pool.

“We didn’t have what they wanted and she lost her temper and she hit me in the face,” she said.

Modesto police investigators say the beating took place at a business on Dale Road.

“It hurts to touch it and I get random pains in my temple because that’s where I was hit,” Clarke said.

Clarke, who asked FOX40 not to share where exactly she works, said this was just one example of the ongoing mistreatment from some customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cussed at daily, almost daily,” Clarke said. “People yell at us and they preach to us about having to wear masks and don’t we ‘know they don’t work.’”

Clarke told FOX40 what’s helped her cope is the creation of a social media page where others share their stories.

“It’s motivating to help you go on and it’s overwhelming how many people can relate to what I’m going through and what my staff is going through,” Clarke told FOX40.

She reminded customers that, as essential workers, they’re doing their best within the guidelines.

“I have to wear this mask because my employer tells me I have to wear this mask and I’m protecting myself, I’m protecting you,” she said. “We’re just doing what we can to stay open.”

Friend and customer Sarah Ghormley said she’s encouraged to see the kindness among strangers.

“It kinda gives me a little hope for the future and I agree with Sam — just be patient, be kind, to others, be courteous,” Ghormley said.

Clarke said she understands what families are going through because she’s going through it too and that if and when you’re out on that errand, remember to have a little patience.

“Come ready, be prepared to have a bit of a wait, bring a good attitude, maybe a smile and maybe thank someone who is working,” Clarke told FOX40.

The Modesto Police Department reports the only footage of the suspect is of her entering the store with a mask on due to the store’s policy. Officers are working to release that image.

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