Woman Pleads Guilty to Ketchup Attack on Fast Food Restaurant Manager

The woman pleaded guilty to single counts each of battery and obstruction or intimidation of a business or customers.

A woman pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced Friday to 18 days in jail and 15 days of community service for attacking a McDonald's restaurant manager in Santa Ana after demanding ketchup packets.

Mayra Berenice Gallo, 24, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to single counts each of battery and obstruction or intimidation of a business or customers, both misdemeanors. She was ordered to enroll in an anger management program and was placed on three years of informal probation.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said Gallo ordered food through the drive-thru lane of the restaurant at 1439 N. Bristol St. about 11 p.m. on Oct. 27. Apparently upset about her order, she confronted the 22-year-old female manager after getting inside through a back door that had been inadvertently left open by another employee.

"She didn't get her ketchup or enough ketchup so she takes it on herself to go through the employee entrance and confronts the manager and the manager says, 'Hey, you have to go outside,'" Bertagna said when she was arrested in November.

At that point, Gallo allegedly "became physically combative" and "pushed and choked" the manager, who reported pain in her elbow, back and neck, as well as a 4-inch scrape on her back, according to a Santa Ana police report.

The suspect, clad in a pink shirt and gray sweatpants, choked the employee until a man -- later determined to be her boyfriend or husband -- walked into the restaurant, "intervenes and takes the (suspect) out of there," Bertagna said.

Police received a "ton" of tips from the public when surveillance footage of the attack was released, Bertagna said, and four tipsters supplied a name. When Gallo was arrested, she was about to get in a car with the man who was seen in the surveillance footage ushering her out of the restaurant, police said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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