PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Every weekend, CJ Miller heads to the Freeway Laundromat on Broadway to wash his clothes.

But his routine was violently interrupted Sunday when he was attacked by another customer.

Miller said when he overheard a man yelling at the woman behind the counter, he knew he had to step in.

“It disturbed me and it disturbed a lot of other customers,” he said.

The man appeared frustrated that his card wasn’t working, so Miller offered to give him his extra laundry card in an attempt to deescalate the situation.

“As I was offering him my help, I also offered him a little advice, which was ‘let’s not yell and scream at the two women here, who are here every single day breaking their backs over washing and folding other people’s laundry,'” Miller explained. “Well, he took offense to that advice.”

It wasn’t until the two men walked outside that the situation “went from zero to 100 again,” according to Miller.

“It was his request to go outside and I thought, ‘well anything to get this out of the laundromat,'” Miller recalled. “We were talking and at first he was calm and cool about it … I never expected to get punched in the face.”

Miller said the man punched him several times before throwing him onto the sidewalk.

“It came out of nowhere,” he said. “I think that his pride might have got in the way.”

John Wayne (Courtesy: Providence Police Department)

The man, later identified as 38-year-old John Wayne, then went back inside to grab his laundry and stormed off.

Miller said another laundromat employee called 911 soon after the man started yelling, and called again after the assault outside.

But no one showed up, despite the laundromat being a few blocks away from the Providence Police Department.

“I waited and we waited and still no police,” Miller recalled. “So I just drove around the corner and filed the report myself.”

Wayne was arrested the next day and charged with simple assault.

“The way I look at it is, I will gladly take a few punches if it meant her not taking a few punches,” Miller said, referencing the laundromat employee.

Thankfully, Miller escaped with only a few cuts and bruises. But he expressed his frustrations with the lack of police response, adding that it could’ve been much worse.

“The first 911 call would’ve prevented the assault and it could’ve prevented everything else,” he said.

Miller said he later learned that dispatch never transferred the calls over to the police department, which is why no one responded to the laundromat.

Lindsay Lague, a spokesperson for the Providence Police Department, said the incident remains under investigation.

“The appropriate disciplinary actions towards the individuals responsible for this lack of communication will be held accountable, upon completion of the internal review,” Lague said.

Miller hopes this incident can serve as a learning experience for dispatchers.

“They are the lifeline between somebody getting hurt or dying and help arriving,” he said. “I genuinely feel if police knew there was an issue here they would have arrived, but they didn’t know, and if you don’t know there is something wrong, how can you help?”