Taco Bell employee charged with assault after fight over order sends 64-year-old man to hospital

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SALT LAKE CITY — A disagreement over a fast food order at a Salt Lake City Taco Bell escalated to a violent struggle outside the restaurant Monday, and a 64-year-old man suffered injuries that include a ruptured artery and a broken neck.

According to charging documents, the incident occurred Tuesday at a Taco Bell at 621 East and 400 South in Salt Lake County after a man came into the store to complain about his order.

A Taco Bell employee says the man tried to start a fight with other employees, and another employee escorted the man outside after the store refunded the man’s purchase. The employee said the man then punched the female employee in the chest, which is when another employee, Duane Allen Masssie, got involved in the altercation.

Douglas Wright Jr. told police the female employee kept getting in his face, and he said he pushed the employee to get her away from him so he could leave. He said the last thing he remembers is Massie punching him in the face and falling to the ground, according to the charging documents.

Wright Jr. was taken to a local hospital, and doctors say the man had a dialysis line connected to an artery that came undone during the fight, causing internal bleeding. The man also had a hematoma behind his left eye, a torn brachial artery and a broken neck. As of Thursday, Wright remained in the critical care unit of a hospital and was intubated and unconscious.

Charging documents state Massie admitted to punching Wright Jr. several times and to forcefully pushing the man to the ground after Wright allegedly pushed the female employee. Witnesses said Massie continued to hit and kick the man after he was already on the ground.

Massie was booked into jail and has been charged with one count of aggravated assault as a second-degree felony.

Det. Robert Ungricht of the Salt Lake City Police Department told Fox 13 News that Wright Jr. could also face an assault charge for allegedly shoving the employee.