Man charged with punching 78-year-old over waffle samples at Costco

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — A 24-year-old man has been charged with elder abuse after authorities say he punched a 78-year-old man over free Nutella waffle samples at a Los Angeles-area Costco store.

Prosecutors say Derrick Gharabighi, of Burbank, was charged Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty.

He faces a maximum sentence of more than 11 years in state prison if convicted as charged, the DA’s office stated.

“Gharabighi was at a warehouse store in Burbank when he walked up to get a Nutella waffle sample,” a news release from the DA’s office stated. “When the elderly victim reached out, Gharabighi took all of them.”

When the victim said he wanted a sample and told Gharabighi not to take so many, Gharabighi punched the older man in the face, the release said.

Police say the senior citizen was hospitalized with a 1-inch cut and swelling above his eye.

The incident occurred Sunday morning at the Costco located at 1051 W. Burbank Blvd.