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Florida Dunkin' worker sentenced for fatal punch of customer

Posted at 2:37 PM, Mar 09, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Dunkin' employee pleaded guilty to felony battery for fatally punching a customer who repeatedly called him a racial slur.

A Tampa judge sentenced 27-year-old Corey Pujols on Monday to two years house arrest, an anger management course, and 200 hours of community service.

Prosecutors said Vonelle Cook was irate when he entered the Dunkin' store last May and began yelling about customer service.

Pujols, who is Black, asked coworkers to call the police and told the 77-year-old registered sex offender to leave.

Cook repeatedly called him a racial slur, and Pujols punched him.

Cook fell and hit his head.

According to WFTS, Cook was rushed to a nearby hospital and died a few days after the incident.

The Associated Press reported that an autopsy revealed that Cook suffered a skull fracture and brain contusions.

Pujols was initially charged with manslaughter, but the AP reported that prosecutors considered Pujols' age and lack of criminal history before offering him a plea deal.

The news outlet reported that Cook's family did not speak at Monday's hearing.