A Burbank man pleaded no contest Friday to a single count of elder abuse for punching a 78-year-old man in a dispute over free Nutella samples at a Costco store.

Derrick Gharabighi. Photo via Instagram
Derrick Gharabighi, 24, faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 20, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Burbank police said the older man was reaching for a free Nutella waffle sample a little before 11 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Costco store, 1051 W. Burbank Blvd., at the same time Gharabighi was grabbing multiple samples from the same table.

Police said the man told Gharabighi not to take so many of the free samples because he wanted one. Gharabighi responded by hitting the man in the face, according to police.

Police said when they responded to the store, they found the man suffering a “significant laceration above his left eye and swelling around the same area of his face.” He was treated at a hospital and released.

The incident drew worldwide attention on social media and coverage in European papers.

— City News Service

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