Who is Bianca Palomera? Hero fast food worker, 19, loses right eye confronting man bullying special needs boy

'I don’t fully regret helping, stepping in. It could have been worse for my co-worker’s brother,' said Bianca Palomera

Who is Bianca Palomera? Hero fast food worker, 19, loses right eye confronting man bullying special needs boy
Bianca Palomera lost vision in her right eye after a man punched her in the face (Cheryl Hurd/Twitter and Fox2/Video screenshot)
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ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA: A 19-year-old Bay Area fast food worker lost her right eye after confronting a man for bullying a child with special needs. Bianca Palomera, 19, said she was attempting to stop the man from "bullying and harassing" a special needs boy who was waiting for his sister to finish work at Habit Burger Grill in Antioch, California.

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“He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face,” she said. “He was throwing threats and slurs saying that he was going to 'beat him up', 'why does he keep looking his way?' That’s when I step in and I said 'it’s not right what you’re doing,'" Palomera told NBC Bay Area.

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Doctors told Palomera that she will lose her right eye.
Doctors told Palomera that she will lose her right eye (Cheryl Hurd/twitter)  

The CCTV footage from the chain that her sister released show the man turning to Palomera and hit her in the face in the restaurant lobby. A fight broke out, and several patrons got involved. According to NBC Bay Area, after Palomera was able to free herself from the man, he and the three other people he had come in with left the store and sped off in a silver BMW. They seemed to be between the ages of 16 and 21, according to her sister. Palomera was hospitalized after the assault and discovered she would lose her right eye. “He punched me once, and my headset and my glasses went flying off my face,” Palomera said. She added, “I don’t really know what to think. I think I'm still processing it."

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She was given the devastating news that her injuries were irreversible after being rushed to a local hospital for emergency care and having surgery on her right eye. “As a result of the attack she was rushed to a nearby trauma center where she underwent emergency surgery,” Bianca’s sister, Erika, wrote in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, she sustained irreversible injuries that cost her losing her right eye completely.” The family has established a GoFundMe account to assist with her medical expenses. More than $120,000 was donated to the account when this article was published. The incident is being investigated, according to the Antioch Police Department, but no one has been taken into custody.

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Palomera has been recovering at home in the meantime. She stated that "she does not regret confronting the bully." “This is the last thing I would have expected out of anything,” she said. “I don’t fully regret helping, stepping in. It could have been worse for my co-worker’s brother.” In a statement to KNTV, Habit Burger said that they are "fully assisting the authorities in their efforts to identify the suspected attackers.”

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