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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
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Worker Says He Was Whipped for Mouthing Off

BROOKLYN (CN) - A former employee of Champs Sports' branch in Times Square claims that two racist security guards dragged him to the bathroom, handcuffed him and whipped him with a belt, and videotaped it. He claims the security guards called in other employees during the beating to warn them, "This is what happens to employees who have a lot of mouth."

Champs sports is an operating unit of the Foot Locker chain, according to the federal complaint.

Andy Fable claims security guards Anthony Cabral and John Brake handcuffed him to a urinal and whipped him with a belt for 15 minutes. He says they forced him to apologize, displayed him to other guards, and released him with blooding knee, elbow and chin after the Dec. 21, 2006 attack.

Fable says the entire incident lasted for about an hour and one security guard captured it on his cell phone.

Less than a week later, on Boxing Day, another security guard punched him in the ribs on the sales floor in front of a witness, Fable says. After this assault, a manager told him to take some equipment to the stockroom, but Fable says he did not want to leave the floor unattended.

In response, the manager allegedly told a security guard to take him to the stock room and "hurt him for me."

Fable says he reported both incidents to human resources, which offered him paid leave until he felt "comfortable and safe" about returning to work.

The HR department allegedly told Fable that he could transfer to another store, but Fable says he declined the offer because he feared his new employers would discriminate against him if they found out what caused his transfer.

He says the company stopped paying him after two weeks off, and did not give him a lasting solution to his work situation.

Fable says the New York City District Attorney told him it was filing a misdemeanor complaint against Cabral, who whipped him with a belt, for unlawful imprisonment, assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.

A spokesman for the District Attorney's Office said in a telephone interview that Cabral was sentenced in December 2007 to 3 years probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault in the third degree.

Champs Sports did not respond to a request for comment.

Fable demands a jury trial against Champs Sports, three of its managers, a sales associate and four security guards. He alleges racial discrimination, unlawful imprisonment, assault, negligence and hostile work environment.

He is represented by Eric Sanders of Jeffrey L. Goldberg PC.

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