OTTAWA -- Four people are facing assault charges after Ottawa Police say an employee was punched and kicked after telling customers to practice physical distancing.

Officers responded to reports of an assault at a business in the 1000 block of Merivale Road around 7 p.m. Thursday.

Police say when an employee asked four females entering the business to respect physical distancing measures, they started to kick and punch the employee.

“The females then took items from the store and threw them at the employee, continuing the assault,” police said in a statement Friday afternoon.  

The employee suffered minor injuries.

Police say the suspects fled the scene, but responding officers located all four suspects and arrested them without incident.

Melina Camille Cere, 20, of Ottawa, Bagap Olami, 18, of Ottawa, and two other girls from Ottawa, a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old, are charged with assault, assault with a weapon and causing a disturbance.

Cere is also facing several other charges, including possession of a scheduled substance for the purpose of trafficking, theft and mischief. Police say the 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl are also charged with one count each of failing to comply with undertaking.