Deborah Staggs, 55, is recovering after the attack by a Popeyes employee left her with a broken arm in 16 places, nine broken ribs and a shattered kneecap.
It’s the accusation that she used the N-word, however, that Staggs is most concerned about.
The grandmother said she never called a Popeyes worker a racial slur, which is what reportedly led up to the violent encounter earlier this month.
Despite employees recalling Stagg’s use of the N-word, she said 29-year-old Deriance Hughes, the former Popeyes employee who reportedly body-slammed her, was “told a lie.”
According to another Popeyes employee, Hughes, who was charged with aggravated assault, slammed Staggs to the ground in a parking lot outside after he believed Staggs called his sister, who also worked at the restaurant, the N-word.
Staggs, who returned to the store because of a $13.11 overcharge, said that one employee told everyone that she used the racial slur and that things escalated from there.
“It horrifies me to hear somebody use a racial slur towards anybody because that’s offensive and I didn’t do that. That was hurtful I would ever be accused of that,” Staggs told FOX 17 News.
She said she didn’t leave the restaurant, after repeatedly being asked to, because she wanted to defend herself against the accusation.
“What bothered me so much, I’m not arguing. I’m a military daughter. I’m very direct. If you accuse me of something I didn’t do, I am going to correct it.
“It just feels like I’m in a nightmare,” Staggs added.
“I don’t understand why I even feel sorry for the individual who did this because I felt like he was told a lie and provoked. My heart breaks for him because it destroyed his life and mine.”