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Mother and daughter arrested, may face charges for pepper spraying Potbelly employees

Mother and daughter arrested, may face charges for pepper spraying Potbelly employees


MOUNT PLEASANT — A mother and daughter from Milwaukee were arrested Saturday after one of them allegedly pepper sprayed multiple employees on April 29 at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 5910 Washington Ave.

Tamia L. Westbrook, 18, and Laquanda D. Westbrook, 37, both could face three counts of felony intentional use of an Oleoresin device to cause bodily harm, in addition to misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property and three counts of battery.

Those charges have been referred to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

On the day of the incident, Potbelly General Manager Sara Olson told The Journal Times that a woman (later identified as Laquanda Westbrook) became “a little upset” after her sandwich was made wrong. Upon seeing this, another woman (later identified as Tamia Westbrook) entered the restaurant and pepper sprayed workers and food.

Both women then left the restaurant before police arrived. The restaurant was forced to close for the day because food had been contaminated and several employees had to seek medical attention.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department reported that one employee was sprayed “directly in the face.”

Saturday’s arrests were made in Milwaukee in a collaboration between the Mount Pleasant and Milwaukee police departments. Both women were being held in the Racine County Jail as of Saturday afternoon.


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“Like many in Racine, I will be closely watching which businesses are protecting their employees and their customers, and which ones are not. I will not hesitate to publicly acknowledge good actors and bad ones,” Mayor Cory Mason said. “If cases are traced to a business because of violations of this new order, we will publicly identify that business and they will be shut down.”

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