Publix responds after deaf employee punched by customer

Local News

Publix Super Markets is now responding after an employee who is deaf says she was punched by a customer while on the job. 

Liberty Gratz was born deaf and also has vision loss. She has been working at the Hull Street Road Publix store since it opened last Fall. 

On Sunday, April 22, Gratz recounts kneeling down to straighten out a bottom shelf when she felt the sharp knock out of nowhere.

Gratz says the woman punched her in the back when she could not hear her asking where to find an item in the store.

Gratz, who uses American Sign Language (ASL) with family and friends, communicates with shoppers by writing on a pad of paper. 

Gratz says Publix was overly supportive. Her department and store managers scoured the security footage, but no one could make out who it was.

In a statement to 8News, Dwaine Stevens, the Publix Super Markets Media and Community Relations Manager, says, “We are in full cooperation with local law enforcement concerning this incident. The care and concern for our associates is paramount.” 

Gratz still does not know who did it.

She and her mother would love to sit down with the woman and have a conversation about being kind to people with and without disabilities.

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