Popeye's owner: Pregnant general manager kicked in stomach during brawl

Owner sheds light on employees, customers fighting in viral video

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

SAN MARCOS - After his employees were seen fighting customers behind the counter in a viral video, Popeye’s owner Vedo Kemraj told KSAT.com his staff was defending their pregnant general manager who was repeatedly kicked in the stomach during the brawl. 

Kemraj said the unidentified general manager is seven-and-a-half months pregnant and was taken to a nearby hospital, staying overnight as a precaution to monitor the baby.

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An owner for more than 17 years, Kemraj said he has never seen anything like this, especially towards a defenseless woman who is two months away from giving birth. 

“If you see someone is pregnant, you’re not going to hit them. I don’t get that. Hopefully, she is going to be OK,” Kemraj said, adding that the fight started when a group of four Texas State University students pulled up to the drive-thru wanting to order four separate meals.

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The Popeye’s employee taking the drive-thru order “asked (them) very nicely if they can place their order inside” because it was complicated, Kemraj said.

“When the customers came inside, they started arguing with my general manager and went to the back of the counter and started fighting,” Kemraj said.

((WARNING: Explicit language is used in the videos below. The language may be unsuitable for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.))

Kemraj said his general manager repeatedly told the customers during the altercation that she was pregnant but they continued to hit her. 

That’s when the rest of the Popeye’s staff members jumped in and began fighting back, in attempt to help their manager and run off the four girls, Kemraj said.

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A police spokesperson with San Marcos Police Department told KSAT.com that officers received the call around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday night and responded quickly to the restaurant, located a mile from Texas State University at 1628 Aquarena Springs Drive.

According to call notes, officers said there was “mutual combat between employees and unidentified females who left before officers arrival.”

“The people on scene did not want to press any charges (and) EMS was called to the scene but did not transport anyone,” SMPD call notes said.

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Kemraj said despite being hit in the stomach and suffering minor injuries, the general manager asked if she could work today’s shift.

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As of 3 p.m., the SMPD spokesperson said no charges have been pressed.

Call attempts made by KSAT.com to Popeye’s Corporate Office went unanswered.

A spokesperson with Texas State University told KSAT.com the school is looking into the incident and cannot confirm whether the group of girls involved in the fight are Texas State students.

Before being deleted from Twitter, the video was retweeted more than 11,000 times and liked 18,000 times since it was originally posted on Twitter late Tuesday night.

agarcia@ksat.com

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