Cafe worker assaulted by colleague over job loss

Presiding judge notes the impact of having threatened an essential worker

Cafe worker assaulted by colleague over job loss

A cafe worker was assaulted by a former colleague who blamed her for being fired, leading to a series of violent incidents that culminated in multiple charges.

Dana Ruby Pike, 35, was sentenced in Nelson District Court on several charges, including assault, threatening behavior, and intimidation.

Pike, diagnosed with a mental health condition, attacked the colleague she blamed for her dismissal and later assaulted another woman stocking Easter goods at The Warehouse.

Aggressive behavior against workers

The court heard that on January 10 of last year, Pike confronted the teenager at Columbus Cafe, where they had worked together. Pike approached her at the entrance, called her derogatory names, and pushed her in the chest, causing her to stumble.

She then chased the victim through the Mitre 10 store until staff intervened. Pike was escorted off the premises but returned later, intimidating the victim further. Although the victim was not physically injured, she was too frightened to return to work.

Weeks later, on February 28, Pike assaulted a woman stocking Easter products at The Warehouse. She jumped over a pallet, grabbed the woman, and punched her in the face twice, causing mild injuries.

Pike continued her pattern of violence when she secured a job at a cafe at Nelson Airport. On March 3, she began slamming glass bottles in the kitchen and punched a colleague who asked her to stop. She then forcefully shoved the cafe manager who tried to intervene.

In a separate incident last June, Pike pointed scissors at a nurse in Nelson Hospital’s emergency department, causing the nurse significant distress and difficulty returning to work.

Sentencing and aftermath

Judge Brett Crowley sentenced Pike to 60 hours of community work and 12 months of supervision, acknowledging her mental illness but noting that others with similar conditions manage well with proper care.

Pike appeared via video link from ŇĆamaru, where she now resides with support from her partner and his family. She told the court her mental health had declined after the birth of her second child but has improved since relocating.

According to the NZ Herald, the victims of Pike’s assaults remain impacted by the incidents, with one struggling to continue her essential work in the community.

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