Arrest made in attack on Bay Area fast food employee trying to defend special needs teen

To this day, Bianca - who has a temporary eye until the permanent prosthetic one is made - says she has no regrets.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Arrest made in attack that left Antioch fast food employee without eye
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An arrest has been made in the attack of a Antioch Habit Burger Grill worker that left her without an eye while she was defending a special needs teen

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- U.S. Marshals have made an arrest in the attack on a fast food worker that happened last month in Antioch, California at The Habit Burger Grill.

Nineteen-year-old Erica Palomera is an assistant manager who was punched in the face during the attack. She lost her eye due to the blow she took.

Palomera was no longer wearing her eye patch when we spoke with her Monday night. One that she had to wear when we talked with her two weeks ago. Monday she learned that U.S. Marshals arrested the man investigators believe punched her.

VIDEO: Bay Area fast food manager to lose eye after being punched trying to defend special needs teen

"I feel like they're taking it serious, how it should be handled you know, he's a dangerous person," said Palomera.

"Once they made a positive ID, they moved in to arrest him - he was outside on foot and he was taken into custody peacefully," said John Cox, a detective with the Antioch Police Department.

"Through our investigation, we learned that the victim, the employee was assaulted protecting another customer with an intellectual disability," said Ashley Crandell of the Antioch Police Department.

Bianca says that young man was being bullied by another customer in the lobby of the Habit Burger Grill. She says her manager asked her to tell him to leave, which she did. She was punched multiple times after that. Police have arrested 20-year-old Isaac White-Carter who faces felony charges of mayhem and assault causing great bodily harm.

To this day, Bianca says she has no regrets.

"I would do it over again but if I could go back, I just wish other people would have came to help," says Palomera.

Bianca has a temporary eye until the permanent prosthetic one is made.

Since the attack, thousands of people have donated money to help her and she's now thinking of going back to school. She's received letters from those in other states who have family members with special needs who wrote her to say thank you for standing up.

"For the people out there, I appreciate all of the help and support. I've received like two letters at the habit and I read through them, they were really nice. It's just crazy to think that people from not only California but far away know about it and they support," said Palomera.

White-Carter is in jail right now. Police say he may also may face a hate crime charge for allegedly using racial slurs against Bianca before the attack.

Antioch Police released this statement:

On November 12, 2022, at approximately 5:25 p.m., the Antioch Police Department Dispatch Center began receiving calls of an assault that occurred at The Habit Burger Grill located at 2430 Mahogany Way in Antioch. Officers learned an employee was punched in the face multiple times after protecting an individual with an intellectual disability from being bullied. The victim lost her right eye because of the incident.

Our Investigations Bureau worked tirelessly to identify and locate the suspect over the last several weeks. Through that ongoing investigation, Isaac White-Carter, a 20-year-old resident of Hayward, was identified as the assailant. Antioch Police Department Special Operations Unit detectives worked in collaboration with the United States Marshals Service (USMS) to locate Mr. White-Carter. USMS Agents with the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce arrested White-Carter in Hayward, California, this morning and turned him over to Antioch police detectives. He has been arrested for the felony charges of mayhem and aggravated assault causing great bodily injury. Detectives will be presenting their case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.

We want to thank the Contra County Sheriff's Office, the United States Marshalls Service, and members of the community who came forward to assist with this investigation.

The members of the Antioch Police Department express their support and gratitude to the victim for helping a community member in need.

If anyone has further information pertaining to this case, please contact Detective John Cox at jcox@antiochca.gov. You can also text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword ANTIOCH

Her family has created a GoFundMe page that can be found here.

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