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Fight over sandwich size leads to multiple charges against Minnesota woman

The suspect allegedly threatened to beat employees and have her boyfriend shoot up the restaurant.

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ROCHESTER, Minn. — A customer at a Rochester restaurant has been charged with multiple charges after she threw a fit over the portion size of her sandwich.

A complaint filed in Olmsted County District states that Venessa Z. Wright threw a tantrum over the size of her sandwich, leading to a dispute that escalated from a verbal argument to a physical confrontation and threats of violence.

Although Wright claimed to have been assaulted by at least one of the restaurant employees, Rochester police officers say in-store video showed a different narrative, and that Wright was the aggressor at the store.

In the course of the dispute, Wright told one of the employees that she was going to beat him, according to video reviewed by investigators. She also took a gift card holder and struck one of the restaurant employees with it. Restaurant employees told her to leave and pushed her out of the store, but she was able to force her way back in along with her boyfriend.

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Wright has been charged with felony terroristic threats-reckless disregard risk, and three misdemeanors, including one charge of burglary and two assault charges.

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The melee occurred Thursday, Aug. 25, at a Subway restaurant at 1507 Highway 14 E., according to KAAL-TV news.

Another employee interviewed by a police investigator said that while Wright continued to complain about her sandwich, she threatened to have her boyfriend “come to the store to ‘shoot up’ the restaurant.” She then taunted the employee, saying he had wasted his life over a sandwich, implying that he was going to be killed over it, according to the criminal complaint.

Wright also allegedly pulled out some of the hair of the employee whom she had struck with the gift card holder, as well as punched him in the face/head area.

The store’s owner told police that after the initial confrontation, employees were able to push Wright out of the store and lock the door. During this time, Wright was told that she was not welcome back in the store. But when the store was unlocked to let in another customer, Wright and her boyfriend barged back into the restaurant and continued assaulting an employee and the owner.

“The owner states that Wright punched her in the face and said her left eye is still hurting,” the complaint states.

Wright faces a punishment of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine if found guilty of the felony charge.

Matthew Stolle has been a Post Bulletin reporter since 2000 and covered many of the beats that make up a newsroom. In his first several years, he covered K-12 education and higher education in Rochester before shifting to politics. He has also been a features writer. Today, Matt jumps from beat to beat, depending on what his editor and the Rochester area are producing in terms of news. Readers can reach Matthew at 507-281-7415 or mstolle@postbulletin.com.
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