Lufkin Police Investigate Alleged Assault at Restaurant - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/07/08 - Lufkin

Lufkin Police Investigate Alleged Assault at Restaurant

by Jessica Cervantez

Lufkin police are investigating a case involving a dispute between a manager and employee at Joe's Italian Grill in Lufkin.

Jennifer Shipley filed a report on Saturday night after she says that Izmatt Neza, one of three brothers who own and manage the restaurant, grabbed her arm, bruising her. She says it happened after a dispute about whether a table needed to-go boxes or not.

A witness KTRE spoke to, who did not want to be identified for fear of losing her job, confirmed Shipley's story. Shipley says this isn't a one-time occurrence, and that employees are constantly yelled and cursed at, and physically abused.

She showed the East Texas News her bruise, two days after the incident.

Shipley said, "This is all red and my muscle actually hurts from it. He actually grabbed me that hard. He's a big man."

Another employee called police after it happened.

KTRE spoke to Izmatt Neza Monday night, who said, "No way, I didn't grab her."

His brother Sam also denied the allegations, and said that Shipley was a problem waitress, that customers often complained about. He said she had been informed she was more than welcome to continue working there, but could leave if she wanted. 

The East Texas News did talk to another former employee who says Izmatt Neza had struck her as well, but she didn't file a report.

No charges or arrests have been made, but the case is still active.
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