Claws out: Staff at Pioneer coffee shop tussle over pepper crabs

Claws out: Staff at Pioneer coffee shop tussle over pepper crabs
Zhuang (in blue and white) confronting Han (in purple) about pepper crabs.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Singapore Incidents

Tempers flared and a fight broke out in a Pioneer coffee shop over pepper crabs.

Three people, employees of the zichar stall and drink stall there, were filmed brawling on April 5. A clip of the incident was later posted on social media, generating a flurry of comments. 

Han Yumei (transliteration), who works at the zichar stall, told Shin Min Daily News that a female drink stall assistant ordered two pepper crabs for $80 on April 4. It was meant to be a treat for her supervisor.

She asked for the food to be ready for collection by 6.30pm the next day. 

10 minutes before collection, however, Zhuang Anqi, the drink stall supervisor's wife, told Han that she wanted female crabs. 

"She walked into the kitchen where my colleague was preparing the order and warned me not to give her crabs that were not fresh," Han recounted. 

Offended by Zhuang's words, Han retorted: "Have I ever sold you stale crabs?" 

The pair started to get physical, and this caught the attention of Zhuang's husband. 

"As soon as he came over, he pointed at me and told me to stop making a din. I told him not to point at me and pushed his hand away — but his wife hit my head. 

"I was so angry and tried to retaliate, but my colleague pulled me away," said Han. 

Because Zhuang refused to accept the pepper crabs, Han had to pay $80 out of her own pocket. 

'She struck first': Zhuang 

When interviewed, Zhuang and her husband insisted that it was Han who started the fight.

"She struck first and it's her fault. Everyone who was there can testify," Zhuang said.

"I fought back and she still wanted to hit me, but her colleagues stopped her." 

Zhuang said she is allergic to stale seafood and therefore asked Han if she could exchange the crabs if they were not fresh.

"I didn't say she gave me dead crabs, I merely told her I'd want an exchange if they were stale, there's nothing wrong with that. 

"We buy food from them several times a month, is it wrong to ask questions about something I'm paying for?" 

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