NY Women assaulted at nail salon

Monday, August 06, 2018

WARNING: Video content is graphic. This post will contain foul language.

A woman named Mercy Maduka took to Facebook on Friday, August 3, 2018 to post a video she took at 8​8​8​ ​Happy Red Apple Nail Inc at 1426 Norstrand Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY.

Since Friday, the video has gone viral having been shared by The Black Up Start, the New York Post, and other news outlets. Since then there have been protests outside of 888 Happy Red Apple Nail with the business forced to close for at least one day.

From Mercy Maduka:
So I’m at the nail salon and they fucked up a lady eyebrow and she refused to pay then a fight broke outttt

1426 Nostrand ave
Hitting them like animals 🤦🏾‍♀️

NBC New York obtained surveillance footage from the salon itself which shows that one of the patrons was blocked by someone (either a companion trying to protect her or another employee) and that one of the employees (in a blue shirt) grabbed the young woman's arms, pushing the arms down while stepping very close to the patron before pushing her back. At that time, the other person pushed the employee back which led to the brawl which included another employee using a broom to assault the patrons and that in turn led to most of the employees assaulting the black women.

As a result of this brawl, only two people were arrested - one of the patrons and one employee. NBC New York reported that a "32-year-old worker faces charges of assault, menacing, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, among other crimes. The customer also face charges; a criminal complaint against her alleges she punched and slapped another salon worker and dragged her across the nail salon floor."

Fox 31 Denver reported that one of the employees can be seen in the surveillance video throwing a liquid at the patrons and it's alleged that the liquid was acetone. Acetone is used as both nail polish remover and for removing artificial nails. If ingested, or breathed in, or ingested acetone can lead to severe injuries. PIX 11 is reporting that police are searching for that third person.

From Pix 11 YouTube channel.

While I don't condone violence I also don't like seeing salons offering services they may not be legally allowed to perform and New York City is filled with salons that violated, and continue to violate, state laws from having unlicensed employees to provide services they're not licensed to perform. While I do not know if the employee who performed the waxing services is a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician, or waxer what can be verified is that the person with the Appearance Enhancement License is one, Guo Lin, who does hold a CURRENT and VALID license to have the salon open and provide NAIL services (and only nail services). Unfortunately, there is no way to verify who the employees are or what they're licensed for but if the person who provided the waxing service is not licensed as a cosmetologist, esthetician, or waxer that person would then be violating state law and Guo Lin would be in violation of state laws as well since this person is listed as the owner of the salon.

NY Daily News reports that the salon owner is actually Huiyue Zheng who was arrested along with patron Christina Thomas. State licensing shows that Ms. Zheng does hold a current and valid license for Nail Speciality and does not have one for Appearance Enhancement Business (salon license). She is also quoted as saying, "So my boss says, ‘`You have to pay.’” which clearly indicates she's an employee and not the owner. It's also reported by PIX 11 that the other employee who threw the liquid at the patrons is possibly wanted by police as she fled the scene.

What is clear is that this brawl went way too far and I think that two things need to be addressed. The first is that the salon owner and employees went way too far after blocking the patrons from leaving the salon when they began to approach and touch the patrons in a hostile manner. This led to the black women defending themselves from the employees who were wielding various objects. I can see from the surveillance video that NBC NY released that the black patrons most likely felt threatened.

The second issue is that why was there a fight over a $5 or $15 service? Clearly, if the patron was unhappy with the results then the owner or manager of the salon should have made the patrons satisfied by either not charging and apologizing OR try to make it right. By stopping the patrons from leaving and demanding they pay that leads me to wonder if this was an illegal nail salon where the employees are forced to work for very little and any loss of sales would result in them getting punished by the owner. What needs to be done is the state cosmetology inspectors need to review each person who works there to see if they're licensed to perform any type of service and what type if licensed. Surely the NYPD took down the names of everyone there so the cosmetology inspectors can start off with that.

Update: Since I originally posted this, I was told the business name is actually 888 Happy Red Apple Nails and not New Red Apple Nails. I've updated this blog post accordingly.


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