NAIL SALON BRAWL Leads To Arrests, Protests, And Racial Resentment in East Flatbush

A fight over an eyebrow wax at a nail salon has turned into charges filed by police and daily protests in Brooklyn.
By Alex Firer

A fight over an eyebrow wax at a nail salon has turned into charges filed by police and daily protests in Brooklyn.

This all started on Friday night, August 3, in East Flatbush in Brooklyn. Christina Thomas and her grandmother, Thelma Medley, went to New Red Apple Nails to get a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow wax. But an employee apparently botched Christina’s eyebrows and she refused to pay for it.

The manager, Michael Lin, said Christina refused to pay for anything, and he instructed employees to block the door. That’s when things got physical. Surveillance video shows a physical altercation break out with customers shoving, and employees hitting back with broomsticks. Another customer, Mercy Meduka, got her own video of the fight and posted it to Facebook.

Thelma Medley claims that, at one point, she was sprayed with acetone nail polish remover.

Even after the fighting stopped, employees still restrained Christina, refusing to let her and her grandmother leave. Police eventually showed up and split up the groups. New Red Apple employee Huiyue Zheng was charged with assault, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, and Christina Thomas was charged with assault herself.

Christina Thomas declined medical attention, though apparently Zheng was briefly hospitalized with injuries on her face and body. In the aftermath, members of the community are protesting outside the nail salon, demanding that it be shut down. Protests were so intense, the salon was forced to close early this week, with employees escaping under police protection.

Since the fight, New Red Apple Nails has been flooded with 1-star reviews on Yelp, with former customers and complete strangers demanding the business shut down. The neighborhood in East Flatbush has a large black population, and protesters believe any business that treats black customers like quote-unquote “animals” doesn’t deserve their business.

Beyond the racial issue, the fight seems to have destroyed the personal relationship between owner and customer, who it appears were previously friends. Thelma Medley addressed owner Michael Lin personally, saying “When you were holding my granddaughter, let’s be real, that you’ve known for years, why didn’t you have your workers stop hitting my granddaughter? Why you didn’t control your workers? Why did they throw acetone on me? Why did they hit me in my back?”

What do you guys think? Should New Red Apple Nails shut down? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @WhatsTrending.