Casey Rich called from his hospital bed in Modesto, a tube in his chest swelling a lung punctured by a DoorDasher’s knife at a Ceres McDonald’s 35 hours prior.
Suffering from 10 stab wounds and a little excited from painkillers, Rich was upset with the diary. He believed readers were wrong about what prompted the stabbing, as the first sentence of the article explained that the unnamed victim – Rich – had “made an offensive comment” to the attacker’s wife.
After hearing his story on the phone, and later in person, and after seeing the fight and stabbing recorded by Rich’s 13-year-old daughter on a cell phone, I can say this: the report of Modesto Bee was perfect. Not a word was twisted or misleading, as presented by our reporter based on information from the Ceres police.
I can also say that there is more to the story.
If you’re not intrigued by the blood splattered on the walls of a local restaurant, or the violent defense of a woman’s honor, or the image of sobbing workers trying to bandage a man’s wounds 34 year olds with their fast food aprons feel free to stop reading. Otherwise, Rich’s story might be worth a look. It’s here.
Stand up against verbal abuse
Returning from jiu-jitsu training in Modesto on August 1, Rich and his daughter stop at the Hatch Road restaurant to share a 20-piece McNuggets meal. Inside, a woman pacing becomes increasingly agitated that the food she and her husband, who are waiting outside in their car, are supposed to deliver for DoorDash is not ready. She suggests in a loud voice that her customer’s order be given priority. Others waiting become uncomfortable.
“I say, ‘They’re doing the best they can; you don’t have to be rude,” Rich recalled. When she persists, Rich remarks, “Well, maybe you should get a real job.”
I think we can all agree that those words were ill-chosen and recklessly uttered. Reflecting three days later, Rich gladly nods.
“I had pure intentions. My flaw was sassy commentary,” he says.
“But I’m a foodie. I don’t think she should get a real job because is a real job. »
Work at McDonald’s too.
Who among us has not been disappointed by slow fast food? Who hasn’t received the wrong item, or a missing tray or bag of something we ordered and paid for?
Are we always patient? Do we sometimes raise our voices, demand respect and better treatment? Are we assigning wrong motives? Make a scene?
Rich doesn’t like to see that.
Raised in Ceres, he recognizes a difficult upbringing. ADHD and class clown behavior didn’t help in school, but it did help him develop a heart for kids who don’t always fit in. Now he works with special education students as a paraprofessional, a job requiring unusual patience, and he aspires to be a teacher. He has just started a second job at the Great Valley Museum at Modesto Junior College, organizing tours for students and families. He volunteers with the PTA, serves on two school committees, and coaches basketball at Central Valley High.
“I believe in defending people. That’s what I do in education. I believe in standing up and talking,” he said, “because if nobody does, it gets worse.
But it can get you in trouble.
madness and chaos
The offended woman’s husband ran into the restaurant, Rich said, and began throwing punches. Rich’s daughter backed off and started filming.
The recording shows Rich, who weighs 175 pounds, with his arms around the waist of the much taller man, who appears unable to land any punches. Rich takes him in a headache, then uses a free hand to pull the guy’s wallet out of a back pocket, check his ID, and throw it away (which apparently made it easier for the police will find him and arrest him later). Things seem to work out a bit before the Dasher’s hand slips into another pocket and comes out with a knife.
Rich doesn’t realize that the quick punches to his chest that follow are actually stab wounds, until he realizes he’s been stabbed – once in the shoulder and the leg, and eight times in the back and on the side. A blow breaks the ribs, collapsing a lung. Rich falls, the man runs away, and the recording ends.
Rich said he fell in the kitchen, where a shocked manager and a young woman helped slow the bleeding until an ambulance arrived. Someone called his wife, Angelina, who came quickly. He told her and her daughter that everything was fine, but that he had lost a lot of blood and secretly believed he would not make it.
His vision clouded during the drive to Doctors Medical Center, he said. Upon arriving, the doors opened and he said, “Wait – did anyone get my chicken nuggets?”
The video footage seems to support Rich’s version of defending himself against someone who couldn’t win a pick fight against a smaller man and resorts to a lethal weapon. DoorDash immediately fired Brandon Eugene Sells, the company told Our Reporter. The 38-year-old faces a charged with attempted murder and remains behind bars on bail set at $705,000.
Count your blessings
One of the stab wounds is to the edge of a tattoo on Rich’s upper back that reads, “Count your blessings, not your stresses.” He chose it, he says, because it’s meaningful and a bit quirky. The jagged wound is now bound with four staples.
Rich tells his story to provide context absent from terse police reports and, by extension, newspaper accounts. But he also has a message, one he admits he’s still learning himself.
“We live in a really mean world,” Rich says. “People are angry. It was really difficult. Going places and seeing someone bite off someone’s head and not care about another is disgusting.
“We are all human. I was a jerk sometimes. We need to remember what community means: we all need to help each other. I know it sounds like hippie, but slow down and enjoy what you have.