Fight erupts in Costco over Nutella waffles

Posted at 3:50 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 18:50:02-04

A dust-up over some free Nutella samples at a Costco store has led to serious legal trouble for a Burbank man, who could find himself behind bars for more than a decade.

Derrick Gharabighi, 24, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a count of elder abuse for allegedly slugging a 78-year-old man in the face in a dispute over the samples.

The charge includes an allegation of infliction of great bodily injury on someone more than 70 years old.

According to Burbank police, the 78-year-old man was reaching for a free Nutella waffle sample a little before 11 a.m. Sunday at the Costco store, 1051 W. Burbank Blvd., at the same time Gharabighi was grabbing multiple
samples from the same table.

Police said the man told Gharabighi not to take so many of the free samples because he wanted one. Gharabighi allegedly responded by hitting the man in the face.

Police said when they responded to the store, they found the man suffering from a "significant laceration above his left eye and swelling around the same area of his face." He was treated at a hospital and released.

Gharabighi could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.