Angry customer punches deaf Publix worker in the back of her head

The worker said she's never had an issue in the past, and isn't sure why the customer took such violent measures to get her attention.

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 8:06 AM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 10:55 AM

A Publix worker who is deaf and partially blind was punched in the back of the head by a customer who was irrate with her when the worker didn't turn around to answer he question, WRIC-TV in Richmond reported.


Liberty Gratz has Usher Syndrome, a condition which limits both her hearing and her peripheral vision. In the past she's communicated with customers by handing them a pad and a pen, and said she has never had an issue.

Gratz was stocking shelves Sunday and said she neither heard nor saw the woman standing behind her who was apparently asking her a question. She then felt a blow to the back of her head.

She turned around and handed the customer the pen and paper. She wrote down the item she needed and Gratz lead her to it. Even then Gratz said the woman seemed to be agitated.

The incident was only partially recorded on the store security camera. Management said other customers were blocking the view, so they can't make an identification of the customer.

Gratz, who wasn't seriously hurt, said she hopes to meet the woman again and teach her a lesson in kindness.

Gratz said Publix managers have been very supportive, though the corporate office didn't respond to WRIC's request for a comment.

A GoFundMe account set up for Gratz already raised more than $6,800.

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