A trip to Costco can be a nightmarish experience: After you slowly make your way through swarms of shoppers determined to block every aisle with their giant carts filled with assorted Kirkland products, you have to wait in a seemingly endless line even when all the checkstands are open. There was an added element of danger at the Burbank, California, Costco on Sunday, when a scuffle broke out over Nutella waffle samples.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office says that Derrick Gharabighi, 24, of Burbank was shopping at the store when he visited a station handing out Nutella samples. As a 78-year-old man went to take one, Gharabighi reached out and quickly grabbed all of the samples. “The victim told Mr. Gharabighi that he wanted a sample and he shouldn’t take so many,” Burbank Police Sgt. Claudio Losacco told the Los Angeles Times. At that point, Gharbighi allegedly punched the elderly man in the face; he had to be hospitalized with a one-inch cut and swelling above his left eye.
Gharabighi is being held on $50,000 bail and faces one count of elder abuse and the special allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm on the elderly man, the district attorney’s office said. If convicted, Gharabighi could get up to 11 years in state prison. Catherine Garcia