A California man has been arrested in the brutal attack on a fast food worker who knocked out his eye while defending a boy with special needs, officials said Monday.
Isaac White-Carter, 20, of San Francisco, was arrested in nearby Hayward for last month’s attack on a Habit Burger in Antioch, the Antioch Police Department said.
The victim, later identified as 19-year-old Bianca Palomera, was punched several times in the face and eventually lost her right eye as a result of the incident, police said. Palomera was defending a boy with an intellectual disability who was allegedly bullied by the suspect.
“It completely derailed my life. There are a lot of struggles, but I have to work around them,” she told KTVU after White-Carter’s arrest.
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White-Carter could face felony charges including mayhem and aggravated assault, police say.
Palomera underwent emergency surgery, but doctors were unable to save her eye. She has since received a prosthetic eye, officials and her family said.
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Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe posted a video message on Facebook saying he would call a special meeting on December 13 to hand over the key to the city to Palomera for his “heroic efforts” in defending the boy.
“Bianca was doing nothing more than advocating for a child who had special needs,” the mayor said. “In my book, Bianca is a hero.”
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Despite the challenges Palomera now faces, she told the station that she now plans to go to school to pursue a medical career.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.