Woman accused of stabbing man working at Burger King

Witnesses say man's ex-girlfriend stabbed him after fight in lobby

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was stabbed by a woman at his job at Burger King early Tuesday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

It happened just before 7 a.m. at the Burger King on Philips Highway near Southside Boulevard. The man, 56-year-old Jim Young, was rushed to the hospital but is expected to be OK. Police said his condition improved at Memorial Hospital.

The woman accused of stabbing him, who police identified as April Vereen, is charged with domestic aggravated battery.

People who work at the Burger King where it happened said the woman is Young's ex-girlfriend, who works at the Avenues Mall, just across the street from the restaurant. They said she had been at the Burger King many times before, and was angry at Young because he broke things off.

A Burger King employee, who did not want to be identified, described what happened.

"A lady just came running inside the building with a knife, with blood all over her hands and said I just stabbed him. I came from behind the counter and Mr. Jim was lying on the ground in a puddle of blood," the employee said. 

Then she said heard screaming in the lobby around 6:45 a.m. 

"She was all hysterical, just yelling 'I'll kill you,'" the employee said.

She called 911 and police showed up, arresting Vereen, 41, in the stabbing of Young, 

"He's like the dad of Burger King to us. He's the oldest gentleman and our prep guy and always makes sure we're OK, or if we need anything Mr. Jim is always there."

The employee added that she was not prepared for anything like what happened but she jumped into action.

"I just got down and held his back because he was laying on his stomach," she said.

According to the arrest report, Vereen came into the restaurant looking for the victim, who works there as a cook. Police said Vereen got there ahead of the man and was waiting for him. When he walked in about 7 a.m., police said, she sprayed mace in his face, then stabbed him.

In 2000, Vereen was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, but the charge was later dropped.

Burger King reopened Tuesday, a few hours after the stabbing.

No one else was hurt, just shaken up.