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Nail salon brawl caught on video leads to calls for business to close

NEW YORK — Calls to stop supporting a Brooklyn nail salon grew louder Monday, days after video was shared online showing employees attacking patrons with brooms, dust pans and, allegedly, acetone.

The brawl happened at New Red Apple Nail in East Flatbush.

Dozens of protesters gathered Monday afternoon outside the salon, demanding the business be closed and asking locals take their business elsewhere. Several people held signs stating "Black $$$ matters" and chanted "black dollars matter."

The protest happened after video was shared Friday night on Facebook, showing a group of women in smocks surrounding a woman as a second woman whacks her with a broom. The woman being hit is beaten on the back as she walks out of the salon.

That's when the video shows the women in smocks turn toward two black women huddled against a wall. The groups yell at each other, and one employee throws a liquid at the women.

Surveillance video given Monday to WPIX shows the beginning of the brawl. It is unclear which party started the fight.

An activist who protested over the weekend claimed the liquid thrown was acetone, the primary ingredient in nail polish remover, and the altercation began because a woman at the salon with her two grandchildren did not want to pay for a poorly done eyebrow treatment.

“So, because she did not want to pay the $5 for her messed-up eyebrows, they attacked this grandmother and her two granddaughters with sticks, threw acetone on them and then called the police on them,” said activist Jasmine Johnson.

The woman who initially posted the video of the incident also said a patron refused to pay the salon because she felt the employee did not do a good job, prompting the fight. The video has so far been viewed more than 750,000 times.

"Share this cause the cops decided to arrest the black people but not the Chinese people who ganged up on them," said Mercy Maduka on Facebook.

Police on Monday confirmed the incident resulted in two arrests.

Employee Huiyue Zhing faces charges of misdemeanor menacing, misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon and harassment, and customer Christina Thomas faces charges of misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor menacing and harassment, police said.

Zhing was hospitalized with visible injuries to her face and body, and Thomas refused medical attention, according to police.

Police have not confirmed any other details in the case.

Over the weekend, Johnson organized a demonstration in front of the salon.

"We don’t need to protest, we need to financially castrate this business. They cannot survive and we cannot feed them," Johnson said in Facebook video capturing the protest.

Since the fight, hundreds of negative reviews, often referencing the incident, have been left on the salon's Yelp page. Many demand it be closed and tell locals to take their business elsewhere.