Florida Dunkin’ worker charged with manslaughter in customer’s death

Employee accused of fatally punching 77-year-old man

This May 7, 2020, file photo, shows a Dunkin' Donuts at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon, Pa. The Dunkin doughnuts and coffee chain confirmed it's held talks to be taken private by a private equity firm, sending shares rocketing to an all-time high at the opening bell Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (Gene J. Puskar, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TAMPA, Fla. – Florida prosecutors filed a manslaughter charge Friday against a Dunkin’ store employee accused of fatally punching a 77-year-old customer after the employee said the man repeatedly used a racial slur against him.

Tampa police arrested Corey Pujols, 27, earlier this month. The victim, who officials haven't named, was punched May 4 and died three days later, according to authorities.

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Pujols told police that the man was “extremely rude” the day of the punch and had called him a racial slur. Pujols, who is Black, said he confronted the man about the slur, at which point the 77-year-old repeated it. The slur was not described further by police.

A Tampa Police Department report says that after he was punched, the victim fell backward and hit his head on the concrete floor. An autopsy shows the man suffered a skull fracture and brain contusions.

According to a statement from the State Attorney's Office, the victim’s use of racial slurs was highly inflammatory, but inflammatory speech alone does not justify violence.

Dunkin' released a statement saying that the franchisee who owns and operates the restaurant where the attack occurred is fully cooperating with authorities.

Pujols is free on $15,000 bond. Attorneys for Pujols didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.