Burbank Man Pleads No Contest to Punching 78-Year-Old Costco Shopper in Dispute Over Nutella Samples

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A 24-year-old Burbank man pleaded no contest Friday to hitting a 78-year-old shopper at Costco after the victim complained about how many Nutella samples the defendant had taken.

Derrick Gharabighi is shown in this photo from his Instagram account, a Burbank police spokesman confirmed.
Derrick Gharabighi is shown in this photo from his Instagram account, a Burbank police spokesman confirmed.

Derrick Gharabighi, who has an extensive criminal history, entered his plea to one count of elder abuse, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred last month at the Costco located at 1051 W. Burbank Blvd.

“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.

“It’s a shame that it had to come to this over a Nutella sample,” said Burbank Police Department Sgt. Claudio Losacco. “It’s a tragic situation where someone in their 70s, almost 80 years old, is faced with something like this.”

The punch left the victim with facial swelling and a significant cut above the left eye, Losacco said.

The victim was taken a nearby hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Gharabighi faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced.

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