Rayl Stepter employment harassment case in the news

April 30, 2008

Grill Cook Upset Over 'Apparent' Prank
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 - 04:21 PM Updated: 05:20 PM
Originally featured on NBC4i.com
By Donna Willis

LOGAN, Ohio -- A bizarre form of alleged workplace punishment rattled an employee so much she went to the hospital and claimed she was having panic attacks.

Her manager said it was a prank and no one intended harm.

NBC 4's Ana Jackson reported on both sides of the story.

The Millstone BBQ's grill was waiting for its cook. Rochelle Crockett was late for work that day.

Her punishment? Crocket was locked in a storage shed for her tardiness, according to a police report.

"She's locked in there. It's dark -- very little room," said Rayl Stepter, Crockett's attorney. "She crouches down in the corner and puts her hands over her ears."

Stepter said three employees, including management, beat on the shed with hammers for 20 minutes.

"We antagonized a little bit," said Millstone BBQ Manager Greg Matolotsy. "The shed got hit twice.

"It was never locked. She was in there for, I believe, it was three minutes and six seconds," Matolotsy said.

He said it was a prank. "Rochelle knew it was a joke going into it. She knew it was a joke coming out of it," Matolotsy said.

"This could not possibly be a prank as upset as my client was," Stepter said.

"As soon as she came out, she was laughing and joking around about it," Matolotsy said.

Crockett said she went to the hospital suffering panic attacks.

"If, in fact, she is stressed over this, then of course we feel bad over it," Matolotsy said.

Joke or no joke, Logan police officers filed unlawful restraint charges against the three employees involved in the case.

The three were not arrested but will be summoned to court.

Meanwhile police are looking at surveillance video to determine what happened, Jackson reported.

Stay tuned to NBC 4 and refresh nbc4i.com for more information on this developing story.