Arrest Made in Attack on Fast Food Restaurant Manager in Santa Ana

ketchup suspect pleads not guilty

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A woman who allegedly attacked a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in Santa Ana after demanding ketchup packets pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor charges of battery and obstructing or intimidating a business or customers.

Mayra Berenice Gallo, 24, of Santa Ana, who's being held in lieu of $15,000 bail, was ordered to return to court Dec. 7 for a pretrial hearing.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said Gallo ordered food through the drive-thru lane of the restaurant at 1439 N. Bristol St. about 11 p.m. on Oct. 27. Apparently upset about her order, she allegedly confronted the 22- year-old female manager after getting inside through a back door that had been inadvertently left open by another employee.

“She didn't get her ketchup or enough ketchup so she takes it on herself to go through the employee entrance and confronts the manager and the manager says, `Hey, you have to go outside,”' and then the beating erupted, Bertagna alleged.

The suspect, clad in a pink shirt and gray sweatpants, allegedly pummeled and choked the female employee until a man -- later determined to be her boyfriend -- walked into the restaurant, “intervenes and takes the (suspect) out of there,” Bertagna said.

Police received a “ton” of tips from the public when surveillance footage of the attack was released, Bertagna said, and one tipster supplied a name and address. When Gallo was arrested, she was about to get in a car with her boyfriend, who was seen in the surveillance footage ushering her out of the restaurant, police said.

The manager, who did not want to be identified, told NBC4 last month that she was shaken by the attack but escaped serious injury. She said the customer was cursing and repeatedly asking for ketchup.

“It happened all so fast. One of the girls (co-workers) did help me. The rest, I don't know, I wasn't really aware of what was going on," she said.

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