From the Wisconsin Gazette:
A gay employee of Applebee’s in Rice Lake was brutally bashed by the husband of a co-worker, then told by the restaurant’s manager he could not return to his job due to publicity surrounding the incident, he said.
Timothy Phares subsequently did return to his job as a server after Greg Flynn, CEO of Apple American Group franchise, intervened on his behalf.
According to Phares and his sister Krista Kathrine, they were getting out of his car in the parking lot of a Perkins restaurant at about 6 a.m. on March 17 when Rien Hendricks and his wife Shannon Hendricks pulled up behind them in an SUV.
“(Hendricks) was getting out of his vehicle, and he said, ‘Fucking faggot, I’m going to kill you,’” Phares said.
At that point Phares said Hendricks struck him in the head with great force using a 2 x 4 piece of lumber. In a written statement, Krista Kathrine said she heard her brother’s head smack the pavement, but Tim Phares lost consciousness and doesn’t remember anything else before waking up in the hospital.
Phares suffered head and facial abrasions as well as multiple facial fractures that will ultimately require surgery to implant metal plates, he said.
Phares had given his two-week notice after Applebee’s management failed to intervene on his behalf when a table full of customers hurled anti-gay slurs at him; he later reversed his decision. The attack by co-worker Shannon Hendricks’s husband (left) took place just days later.
Restaurant manager Tara Steinberg has refused to fire Hendricks despite her role in the attack (she drove husband Rien to the scene of the attack, heard him threaten to kill Phares, and watched Rien brutally assault him). Phares says he doesn’t expect he’ll stay at Applebee’s for much longer because he feels unsafe at work.