Toronto Star Classroom Connection

Judge dishes a bowlful of justice

Woman who tossed burrito at a Chipotle worker has been sentenced to work in fast food


Do the crime, do the time and hurry up with the fajitas.

Earlier this year, a Reddit user posted a video of a customer, Rosemary Hayne, having an epic meltdown at a Chipotle in Ohio. Ms. Hayne was enraged by the ghastly look of her burrito bowl. She screamed. Then she hurled the burrito bowl in the face of a worker.

Hayne stormed out. Customers jotted down her licence plate.

She was later arrested and charged with assault.

She was found guilty and a Fox affiliate updated the story this week.

During sentencing, judge Timothy Gilligan asked Hayne: “You didn’t get your burrito bowl the way you like it and this is how you respond? This is not ‘Real Housewives of Parma.’ This behaviour is not acceptable.”

According to NBC’s “Today,” Hayne was fined and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

“(But) due to the nature of her crime, Judge Gilligan gave her the opportunity to reduce her time further by stepping into the figurative shoes of her victim.”

Hayne will now serve 60 days in prison. She will then serve 20 hours per week for two months working in fast food. As the judge reasoned: “So I thought, ‘Why should the city taxpayers pay for her and feed her for 90 days in the jail if I can teach her a sense of empathy?’ I also hope this deters others from this type of behaviour.”

Oh, it will. Profane outbursts at Tim Hortons will get cut in half if the unhinged perps fear they might get court sanctioned to bake doughnuts for six-to-nine months. It sounds like a “Seinfeld” storyline. But this is jurisprudence at its most creative. It’s like the Code of Hammurabi — only an eye for an eye is now a burrito for a burrito.

Prison will seem like a picnic after Hayne slogs through her first 10hour shift in an ill-fitting polyester uniform, tending to the deep-fryer or drive-thru window. She will miss the steel bars when she is up to her eyes in plastic forks.

There is no slow time in fast food. There is just a relentless surge of hungry customers, some of whom are as unreasonably demanding as Hayne. With every ad hoc order — guac on the left side, 30 per cent less jalapeño, exactly 43 black beans, sub the salsa for a zesty ranchero — she will yearn for the serenity of solitary confinement.

She will see the monster she was in the eyes of other monsters. That is justice.

With civility on the decline, and way too many people unbothered with laws or social mores, we need more creative sentencing in the legal system. I’m reminded of the slumlord who was sentenced to live in one of his buildings. Or noise violators who were forced to listen to Barry Manilow. Or the couple who vandalized a Nativity scene and were sentenced to lead a donkey around town with a placard: “Sorry For The Jackass Offence.”

Speaking of jackasses, Donald Trump now faces nearly 100 felony charges. If Agent Orange is found guilty, don’t put him in an orange jumpsuit. That’s too lenient.

Teach him empathy by forcing him to shack up with the QAnon Shaman in a Super 8 motel for a decade. Give Mar-a-Lago to the Obamas and make Trump their butler. Force this human burrito bowl of an ex-prez to make hush money payments to AOC and BLM.

Film him saying, “Joe Biden is my president” and post it to Truth Social daily until the 2024 election. Sentence Trump to trade golf for the high jump. Watching him waddle down the track and face-plant into the mat after his 300-pound body fails to achieve liftoff will deter every wannabe dictator from ever trying to steal elections or classified docs.

You know why traffic court is clogged up? Speed demons don’t care about tickets. They can game the system and wiggle free. You want people to slow down? Fine. Anyone who violates the posted speed limit should be sentenced to pull a rickshaw and provide free rides to fellow citizens for a minimum of two years. Problem solved.

Give a slap on the wrist to a looter and they will keep looting. But handcuff that looter and make them watch as their house is looted? Problem solved. Anyone found guilty of identity theft should have their identity auctioned off for charity. Problem solved.

We need our sentencing to do a better job of deterring modern crime.

Don’t we still have bizarre laws on the books? Slice once published a roundup. Is it still illegal to drag a dead horse down Yonge Street on a Sunday? Are there height restrictions for snowmen in PEI? Can you not have a purple garage door in Kanata? Is it against the law to make a retail purchase in excess of $5 if paying with nickels?

While she was with us, it was illegal to scare the Queen. Not sure how that carries forward. But to be safe, don’t jump out of a bush and scream “Boo!” at King Charles.

When the burrito assailant tried to explain her antics by declaring how her food looked disgusting, this hero judge shot back with: “I bet you won’t be happy with the food you are going to get in the jail.”

Nope. She will be even more unhappy when she’s out and making the food..





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