Man charged in Burger King attack - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Man charged in Burger King attack

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Man charged in Burger King attack (WFSB) Man charged in Burger King attack (WFSB)
WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

A Connecticut mother said she was attacked inside a fast food restaurant, and that it all started because she said the man was standing a little too close to her.

Darlena Smith said all she wanted was to get some food from a Burger King in Wethersfield on Monday.

Instead, she got more than what she ordered and left the place with bruises on her lower lip and face.

“I was scared. I thought I was going to die,” Smith said. “I think he just wanted to be mean.”

Smith said she went inside the Burger King on the Silas Deane Highway on Monday and noticed another customer, 60-year-old Stephen Barnicle, was standing less than two inches from her.

“I said ‘can you please move, I feel uncomfortable with you standing next to me’,” Smith told Eyewitness News.

She said Barnicle refused and continued to invade her private space. She tried to walk away toward the soda machine, and said “he reached over me to get the ice for his drink and after he reached out me I reached over him to get the straws and the lid for my sodas.”

That is when she said she was attacked.

“He just started pounding me in the face, pushed me down and put me into a choke hold. He started kneeing me in my side,” Smith said.

Burger King employees saw what had happened and pulled Barnicle off the 22-year-old mother.

Employees reportedly told the man to leave and he was arrested by police a few minutes later.

Smith said she is recovering after the attack.

“I’m just thankful that I’m alive and I’m thankful it’s not going to happen to another woman,” Smith said.

Barnicle was charged with assault and strangulation and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

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