MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 17-year-old Cheddar’s employee said he still isn’t sure why he was attacked by a large group of customers inside the Cordova restaurant a little over a week ago.
Police said Omarion Ford was badly beaten by at least four people from the same family while working as a host at the Cheddar’s on North Germantown Parkway.
Omarion said it was a busy Sunday, and he was asked to seat a party of eight. He said he told the family they would have to wait an hour for a big table, and they agreed to be seated at two tables.
The Bolton High School student said a female in the group didn’t like the tables, and they went back outside. He said the trouble began after he finally got them all seated at the one large table.
“The girl in the green said why did it take so long to seat me? You could have sat us down,” said Ford. “I said, what’s the problem? Why are you angry? I got you all the table. Why are you all still mad?”
Omarion said the woman continued to complain and he walked back to his host stand. He said that’s when the woman’s boyfriend approached him and began punching him.
“He got in my face and said ‘What did you say to my girl?'” Omarion said. “After he punched me in my face, that’s when I fell back into the fence, and when I hit back, the whole family started jumping me. That’s when I blacked out.”
The teen said the next thing he remembers is waking up in an ambulance. In a video circulating on social media, you can see the chaos after the attack and Omarion’s co-workers trying to keep him awake.
Investigators said during the attack, Omarion hit his head against a brick wall inside the restaurant and was treated at the hospital for a concussion, bruises, abrasions to his face, a black eye, and a bruised lung.
“It’s very sad, and it’s very low down. I didn’t do anything to nobody. All I do is go to work and go home,” he said.
Friday, Darius Brantley, Kaitlin Brantley, Brittany Brantley, and Carol Brantley were arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
Omarion was in court with his mother and father on Monday for their arraignments. Latisha Ford said it was another difficult day for her son.
“He was shaking, and he wanted to cry, and I was just letting him know I was here for him and the family’s here for him. I was telling him the world was standing behind him,” Latisha said.
Omarion said he was working at Cheddar’s to pay for his senior pictures and other school-related expenses, but after what happened, he no longer feels safe working there.
“I don’t want to go back. You never know if I go, one of their family members might come in and kill me. You never know,” Omarion said.
The family created a GoFundMe page to help with his senior expenses, and it has already raised over $3,000.
Omarion is grateful for the help but still wants justice to be served. He said he is still getting bad headaches and is still trying to process what happened to him.
“I think about it a lot. It was very, very scary.”
Darius, Kaitlin, Brittany, and Carol Brantley will be back in court on August 11 and Omarion and his mom plan to be there as well.