(EDITOR’S NOTE, 5/21/18, 6:15 PM: This article has been updated to include quotes from both the person who filmed the alleged assault and the alleged victim. This article will be updated in the event of a response from restaurant owner Doo Wan Lee and/or the Gwinnett County Police Department.)
A viral video circulating on social media appears to show one of the owners of Doo’s Seafood restaurant in Snellville, Georgia slapping a black female employee.
In the video, Markus Moultrie, who is behind the camera, is seen arguing with the restaurant’s owners over a botched order. Even though the owner’s wife was the one who made the incorrect meal, the owners insisted the cashier — identified as Ju’nea Turner — personally refund the customer the $8.47 from her own pocket rather than reimburse him from the register. When Turner refused, the owner — identified as Doo Wan Lee — allegedly assaulted her:
Trigger warning: Violence against women.
So the owner of Doo's Seafood in Snellville, Georgia tried to force the black woman who was working the cash register to personally refund a customer after his wife messed up the order, & when the employee protested, the owner slapped her pic.twitter.com/6FbZ7egqtP
— ✊🏿Black Aziz aNANsi✊🏿 (@Freeyourmindkid) May 21, 2018
In a phone interview, Moultrie said the incident happened on May 18, while he was on his lunch break. Originally, Mrs. Lee charged his debit card for food he ordered, but then canceled prior to the food being made. When Moultrie asked for his money to be refunded for the food he didn’t want, Mrs. Lee refused, saying that the food had already been cooked and that he had to pay for it. Moultrie said that he refused to leave the restaurant until he was refunded for the botched order.
At that point, he said Mrs. Lee told Turner to reimburse him from her own pocket, who refused. Lee then fired her and told her to leave the restaurant. Eventually, Doo Wan Lee came out from the back room of the restaurant to get involved in the argument.
“[Mr. Lee] came to the front, trying to mediate. I said, ‘It’s your wife’s fault she changed my order, she didn’t tell Ju’nea my order was changed, and now she’s trying to make me pay for both of them,’ ” Moultrie told Grit Post. “They kept arguing, and that’s when Mr. Lee slapped the food out of her hand and pushed her, and she almost fell to the ground… After that, he grabbed her by the side of her shirt and scratched her breast.”
Turner told Grit Post that she plans to press full charges against Mr. Lee for assaulting her, but that Gwinnett County police told her she needed to pay $25 in order for them to file an assault warrant against her former employer. She also said the officer who responded to the alleged assault refused to give her their name or badge number.
“They didn’t give me a case number, they didn’t give me a report or anything.” Turner said in a phone interview. “They had witnesses, a video, and the wife stating that her husband hit me, and they didn’t even ask to see the cameras that they had inside of Doo’s.”
In regard to the situation that led to the alleged assault, Turner said the Lees have always made their employees pay out of their own pocket whenever an order is made incorrectly. Turner said she only made $7.50 an hour.
“If you don’t pay for it right then, they take it out of your check. When you get your money, however much the food cost, you’ll come up short,” Turner told Grit Post.
The Doo’s Seafood website lists its owners as “Mr. and Mrs. Lee,” a South Korean couple who emigrated to the United States, eventually coming up with a plan to open a Louisiana-style seafood restaurant. In addition to the Snellville location, the Lees also have Doo’s Seafood restaurants in Stone Mountain, Georgia and Lilburn, Georgia. All three locations are in the Atlanta Metro area.
Grit Post’s calls to Mr. Lee and the Gwinnett County Police Department were not returned as of this writing.
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.